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According to official statistics, drugs often cause or are related to criminal acts. The US Department of Justice claimed that the “linkage between drug use and crime is strong” (Schmalleger, 2012, p. 351). The interrelation between drugs and crime can be explained by the behavioral particularities of people that are engaged in activities violating federal drug laws and/or breaking others in relation to drugs. Drugs are usually related to crimes in the following ways: “crimes are committed by drug users more often than by others and crime record rise along with increase in drug use” (Schmalleger, 2012). Though the study does not explain whether the criminals would have committed the crimes if they had not used drugs, it is clear that the latter change people for the worse.
Difference between Drug-Defined and Drug-Related Crimes
Crime and illicit drug use sometimes interact with one another as cause and result. Some delinquents break the drug laws while producing, trafficking and using controlled substances. Others commit crimes in order to obtain illicit drugs or lose self-control under their influence. Due to this difference the Bureau of Justice Statistics distinguishes the types of crimes as such that are just connected with drugs or violate drug laws.
The drug-related crimes are the ones that do not break federal drug regulations, but the criminals commit them either to acquire narcotic or being under its influence. Thus, a drug addict may rob someone or steal money for a dope. Though he does not infringe the regulations, he “contributes to violations” (Schmalleger). Another type of crimes includes drug-defined ones, when drugs are stored, sold or transported (Schmalleger). Drug dealers and their accessories producing, delivering or transporting the illicit substances in the United States usually commit such crimes.