Relation between Substance Abuse and Crimes

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The Criminal Justice system in the United States is continuing to find better ways to deal with substance use and crime. During the late 1960s to the middle of the 1990s, there were challenges corresponding with the management of social harms that came with the heroin and cocaine epidemics. Since then the challenges in the crime-drug policy turned its approaches towards alcohol. There is a persistently high rate of crime and violence that involves alcohol. Excise taxes on alcohol, regulating the times of sales for alcohol venues, the 24/7 Sobriety Project, gun restrictions on guns, and challenges in providing mental and health treatment services under the Affordable Care Act are all different methods of minimizing the alcohol affiliated crimes.

The argument that alcohol has become a bigger problem involving crimes is because alcohol has been considerably associated with homicides than any illegal drug such as heroin and cocaine. Pollack explained that a drinking problem is predominately a habit for those who amid individuals who commit a crime such as murder, sexual assault, and violence between intimate partners. Increasing excise taxes on alcohol is one step to reducing the purchase and use of alcohol. Placing excise taxes on all alcohol including distilled spirits can help reduce the accidents and self-inflicted injuries amongst individuals who consume heavy amounts of alcohol. The increase in taxes on alcohol saved an estimation of 7,000 lives the first year that it was implemented. (Cook & Durrance, 2013).

It can also help with the reduction of violent criminal acts. Reinforcing regulations for the times of sales for alcohol venues can help deescalate the chances of consumers who are prone to alcohol-associated violence from committing a crime. There should be time restrictions of alcohol sales and purchases made. Alcohol venues should begin sale at specific times in order to limit the purchase of alcohol. There were associations found between longer sale length to the increase in assaults especially on weekends during late nights.

Some methods have included holding alcohol venues accountable for fatalities involving motor vehicles and self-inflicted harms. The Alcohol Linking Project was mentioned in the book which involves using the police officer to help identify the venues where the arrestees have obtained alcohol at. These reports of venues are tracked through police reports. If there are frequent reports of the same venue being the last place these consumers are getting their alcohol, they will receive stronger police enforcement. The communications made between law enforcements and venues played a role in reducing the harms created by alcohol.

The book mentions the use of 24/7 Sobriety Project in South Dakota which helps reduce DUI, domestic violence, and all alcohol-related offenses. 24/7 involves closely monitoring individuals who are reoccurring offenders of DUI and other alcohol-related offenses. The individuals involved in this project were instructed to take a breathalyzer test during in the morning and evening or to wear a on-going alcohol bracelet that monitors their alcohol level. If they fail the breathalyzer tests and also fail to come to the tests they will be subjected to a short jail sentence of 1 or 2 days. Although there is still ongoing research in other states, there have been some reductions made in DUI arrests and domestic violence crimes involving alcohol. Unlike mental illness, substance use should be informed within the gun policy.

There are current regulations that prohibit individuals who have been admitted into the mental health facilities from purchasing guns. Although this is being implemented, predicting whether an individual is homicidal or suicidal is far from accurate. The difference between mental illness and alcohol abuse is that it is easier to foresee determined crime of domestic violence and various DUI violations associated with alcohol use than with mental illness. Criminal behaviors stemming from alcohol abuse and gun possession can be easier to identify than mental illness. Including alcohol and substance use to the list of individuals prohibited from using and purchasing guns could potentially reduce self-inflicted harms and crime.

Providing mental and health treatment services under the expansion of the Affordable Care Act can be effective amongst individuals confined and those who are being rehabilitated. There is still improvement needed to be conducted on substance use and crime. The recommendations made to reduce violent crime and self-harm associated to alcohol still needs improvement. Enforcing 24/7, gun restrictions, enforcing time restrictions on venues, and the expansion of Affordable Care Act can possibly help improve the interaction between substance use and crime. It would be near impossible to ban alcohol altogether, but regulating the policies involving alcohol is a step.

Cite this paper

Relation between Substance Abuse and Crimes. (2021, Mar 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/relation-between-substance-abuse-and-crimes/

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