Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Drug Abuse, Crime
Drugs and crime are undeniably linked. Not only are manufacturing, distributing, and purchasing drugs illegal, but the misuse of drugs often increases the need and likelihood of committing additional criminal acts. Overwhelming evidence indicates a connection between drug misuse, criminal activity, and arrest. However, the nature of the relationship is complex, and no one explanation or pathway accounts for everyone's experiences with drug misuse and crime. The criminalization of drug use has long been the official policy of the U.S. government. The prevailing viewpoint of the addiction that drives drug use and the associated criminal activity is largely through a criminal, rather than medical, paradigm; the people addicted to drugs who commit crimes are not sick or ill but offenders in need of punishment, not treatment. Characterizing the U.S. War on Drugs are increased penalties for crimes associated with so-called hard drugs and narcotics. With the crack epidemic of the ...