Among the developed countries of the world, the U.S. is one that continues to struggle with crime. Each year, it attracts international attention owing to the crimes committed by its citizens, young and old alike. Most of these involve murder which sometimes are attributed to drug and alcohol abuse. Research has also confirmed a correlation between drug use and criminal behavior.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in its 2012 report entitled Crime in the United States, said violent crimes went up by 0.7 percent or more than 1.2 million violent crimes. The ratio was 386.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants and this rate was the same as the 2011 record.
These crimes involving drug and alcohol use are costing the government and taxpayers billions of dollars each year. The cost of controlling drug and alcohol crime alone already costs $44.1 billion while the cost to taxpayers is pegged at $32.7 billion.
An estimated 14.8 million Americans were found to be drug users based on the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. Authorities stressed that this chronic use of illicit drugs is what causes criminal activity and damages the nation.
In 2010, 37,000 drug related deaths were recorded with 1.6 million adults and 196,000 juveniles arrested. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that more than 50 percent of inmates that are in federal prison were jailed due to drug offenses.
Drugs being abused in the U.S. are plenty these days. However, those commonly identified when crimes are committed include cocaine (27 percent), marijuana (22 percent), methamphetamine (16 percent), heroin (6 percent) and prescription drugs (2 percent).
Drug-related crimes are classified into three categories – victim/offender use-related, economic-related and system-related. Crimes that are victim/offender use-related refer to the ingestion of a drug that causes violent behavior. Economic crimes are those committed by drug users to support additional drug use while the system-related crimes are those directly or indirectly related to the system of drug distribution and trafficking which is also linked to the commission of violent crimes.
Crimes committed as a result of too much alcohol intake are also common in the U.S. Each year, nearly 13,000 of people are killed on roadways due to alcohol-related accidents. The 2010 record showed the arrest of 595,000 adults and 13,000 juveniles for such crimes.
In 2004, it was estimated that 17.6 million people in the U.S. were dependent on or abused alcohol. Additionally, while drunk driving is what commonly gets much attention, the use of alcohol has been attributed to other crimes including domestic violence, underage drinking and assault.
The Saratogian News reported that some 183,000 cases of rape and sexual assault as well as robberies, aggravated assaults and simple assaults recorded every year involved alcohol use.
Offenders charged with drug and alcohol related crimes can still seek legal help if they want to. They can turn to defense lawyers in their area such as a drug possession lawyer for those based in the state of Arizona. These legal professionals are skilled in defending their clients and supporting them throughout the trial process.