In America, alcohol is not only a way to spot a superior event or to simply relax after a hard day, even its consumption is mostly regarded as a harmless activity. This mentality has put immense burden on the American society. In reality, alcohol abuse can have a detrimental effect on all aspects of an individual’s life and well-being, including his or her work and relationships. However, one of the most serious risks linked with the use of alcohol is its association with crime.
According to the 2015 report by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), “Alcohol and drugs are implicated in an estimated 80 percent of offenses leading to incarceration in the United States such as domestic violence, driving while intoxicated, property offenses, drug offenses, and public-order offenses.”
As a consequence, there has been a significant rise in the prison population lately due to crimes related to substance abuse. According to the report:
- 80 percent of those involved in various offenses abuse drugs or alcohol.
- Nearly 50 percent of jail and prison inmates are victims of clinical addiction.
- About 60 percent of offenders arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illicit drugs at the time of arrest.
Alcohol inhibits ability to judge and make sound decisions
Alcohol being a socially and legally accepted substance plays an important role in various criminal activities and social problems. Studies have shown 40 percent of all violent crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “37 percent of almost 2 million convicted offenders currently in jail report that they were drinking at the time of their arrest.” Due to the ease of availability, alcohol is said to be the main drug abused by offenders in all cases of murder, rape, assault, as well as child and spousal abuse.
Since the connection between alcohol and crime is complicated, it can be difficult to ascertain whether alcohol consumption drives individuals to commit crimes or those who drink habitually are predisposed to such heinous offences. However, most individuals who abuse alcohol are at a higher risk of committing grave crimes because alcohol inhibits their ability to judge and make sound decisions.
Six most common types of crimes committed under the influence of alcohol are:
- Use linked criminality
:Such crimes are dedicated by individuals who put away large amounts of alcohol till a point where the effect of the drink clouds their thought processes and behavior.
- Economy-related crime:
These crimes mostly include theft and prostitution and are committed to fund an insatiable appetite for alcohol.
- System-related crime:
The structure of the system involving illicit liquor and drug trafficking is responsible for such crimes. They may also be the outcome of different phases, such as production, manufacture, transportation and sales of alcohol and the resulting violence.
- Domestic violence:
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Two-thirds of victims suffering violence by a current or former spouse or partner report that the perpetrator had been drinking, compared to less than one-third of stranger victimizations.”
- Child abuse:
Family pressures and stress may cause either parent to use alcohol to self-medicate, thereby increasing the chances of child abuse or related crime.
Staying away from alcohol
One should remember that alcohol is not a savior but a silent killer. Nevertheless, seeking professional help and treatment is the best time-tested alternative for individuals in their journey to recovery and sobriety.