It may not be easy to determine the role of drugs and alcohol in the committing of crimes. It also may be that the person committing the crime is not under the influence at the time of the crime; they may be stealing money or goods to support their habit. States across the U.S., including Colorado, have growing evidence that drugs and alcohol play an important role in the crime rate.
Victims of crime may also report that drugs or alcohol may be the reason for the crime. One example is that for reported rapes and sexual assaults, victims believed that 30.0% of the offenders were under the influence. Aggravated assault victims believed that 26.2% of the offenders were on drugs or alcohol.
Cities may have different rates
The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM II) was in force in 2013 for collecting data. Those arrested had testing for the following: marijuana, cocaine metabolites, opiates, amphetamine/methamphetamine, barbiturates, benzodiazepine, buprenorphine, methadone, PCP and oxycodone.
One result showed a positive drug test for 63% in Atlanta to 83% in Chicago and Sacramento. Users with multiple drugs in their system showed a number of 12% in Atlanta to 50% in Sacramento. Marijuana was present in the system of 34% in Atlanta and in 59% in Sacramento.
Although cocaine in general had a decline, crack cocaine increased in New York. In other areas, there was a decline.
On the other hand, the opiate threat grows. Statistics showed that increased use of opiates (such as morphine, heroin and synthetic opiates) was significant at all locations.
Crimes to obtain drugs
Criminal defense remains busy, as people commit crimes to obtain the drugs they depend on. These people are more likely to commit property crimes and drug offenses, such as trafficking, as opposed to violent offenses. Prison inmates reported being under the influence in the commission of the following crimes:
• Motor vehicle theft: 55%
• Weapons violations: 56%
• Burglary: 55%
• Robbery: 56%
Statistics show differences in cities and substances, but the fact is that drugs and alcohol play a role in the committing of crimes. Victims as well as offenders agree on this point.