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Drugs, Crime and Youth - Research Paper Example

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 This paper indicates a correlation between drug use and crime; however, the majority of this group was involved in criminal activity before being involved with drugs. When discussing the link between illegal drugs and crime, many complexities exist…
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Drugs, Crime and Youth
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Download file to see previous pages Experimenting with drugs causes many adverse effects especially in the case of developing youths. Of all drugs, alcohol is most widely used by both adults and youths but illegal drugs are consumed by a sizeable number of persons as well who emanate from all social circumstances. The frequency of alcohol and drug use amongst young persons for social, recreational and experimental reasons is extensive and continues to escalate. Heightened propensities toward violent behaviors have also been linked to drug use but unlike the other negative outcomes, this may be a falsity.
The majority of people who use illegal drugs, both adult and youth, do not become habitual, daily users nor are they involved in criminal behaviors that are related to the use of drugs. Following their assessment of various studies, Chaiken and Chaiken (1989: 216) concluded that “among youths who engage in both predatory crime and substance use, the onset of crime most often comes first.” This assessment in effect eliminates the likelihood that drug use leads teenagers to criminal activity (Dembo et al, 1991). Alcohol use by young teenagers was, however, an indicator of violent behavior later in life. Cocaine and marijuana use was unrelated to violent activities. This evaluation did not present confirmation that an underlying link existed between cocaine or marijuana use and violence or vice-versa. It is a fallacy to suggest that teenagers commit crimes at a higher rate simply to support a cocaine or cannabis habit. Studies that have shown a relationship between drug use and an increase in criminal activity have usually focused on adults addicted to heroin. “Other than in periods of physical addiction, for most people, changes over time in individuals’ use or non-use of drugs are not systematically related to changes in criminal activity”. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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