Understanding Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

Understanding Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

Understanding Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

Understanding Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

Synopsis

"Bennett and Holloway's Understanding Drugs, Alcohol, and Crime is the best, most up-to-date and comprehensive examination for the United Kingdom of interactions among drugs, alcohol, and crime. The authors exhaustively and authoritatively survey current knowledge in the UK, and from many other countries, on drug and alcohol use as cause, and consequence, of crime, and the effects of law enforcement and treatment responses. Clearly written, unfailingly lucid, and admirably accurate, this book will be the indispensable work on British drug policy for many years to come." Professor Michael Tonry, University of Minnesota Law School, USA "What makes this book particularly interesting is the refreshingly non judgmental presentation which conveys the essence of very important issues in contemporary society. Therefore, this is an ideal text not only for students but also for policy makers, drugs and alcohol counsellors, treatment agencies and everyone interested in doing research on drugs, alcohol and crime." Nicoletta Policek, University of Abertay, Dundee "The publication is not only an excellent summary of the existing research in Great Britain, and to a lesser extent from other jurisdictions, it is a foundation for future research by evoking , and at times provoking, questions and offering a variety of possible responses." Hirsch Greenberg, University of Regina What is the connection between drugs, alcohol and crime? What works in reducing drugs and alcohol-related crime? The book provides a succinct overview of current theory and research on the links between drugs, alcohol use and crime. It discusses the legal and social context of drug and alcohol use and identifies current levels of consumption. Focusing on the UK context, it also takes into account international research where appropriate. Detailed review of the research literature on the connections between drug use and crime Examines the current government anti-drugs policy and assesses the effectiveness of programmes that have been used to reduce drug and alcohol-related crime. The book concludes that future government drugs policy should pay particular attention to the lessons learned from research on the connection between drug and alcohol use and crime. Ideal for criminology, criminal justice, social policy and social work students, this book will also be a useful source of information for policy makers, the police, probation workers, social workers, drugs and alcohol counsellors, treatment agencies, sentencers, voluntary agencies, Drug Action Teams, and others with an interest in research on drugs and crime.

Excerpt

It is widely believed that drug use causes crime. One of the main aims of the current UK drug strategy is to reduce crime by reducing the availability and use of illicit substances (Home Office 2002). However, it is not at all certain whether there is such a connection between drug use and crime. It is possible that the two are not connected at all or even that the two are connected in a direction opposite to that hypothesized and that drug use causes less crime. This might occur when drugs impair the functioning or de-motivate the individual. While it might appear intuitively obvious that drug use causes more crime, it might not be the case in practice. It is important to take a critical view and to find out what the research actually says on this subject. The aim of this book is to do just that and to look at the research literature as a whole to determine whether the view that drug use causes crime is correct.

The book has been inspired in part by two large research projects that the authors have recently completed for the Home Office on the connection between drug use and crime. The first project was the NEW-ADAM (New English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring) programme, which aimed to look at drug use and crime among samples of arrestees (see, among others, Holloway and Bennett 2004). This study was based on interviews with and urine samples collected from arrestees held in police custody suites. The research was conducted in 16 locations in England and Wales and sought to determine the extent to which arrestees (most of whom were current offenders) were involved in drug use. The second project was a systematic review of the literature in two areas of research relevant to the 'drugs–crime' connection. One of the reviews aimed to investigate the strength and nature of the link between drug use and crime. The other review aimed to investigate the effectiveness of interventions that might (among other things) reduce criminal behaviour among drug users. The book draws heavily on our knowledge generated as part of conducting these reviews. However, we have not presented the findings of . . .

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