Understanding Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

By Trevor Bennett; Katy Holloway | Go to book overview

chapter five
Explaining the
drugs–crime connection

Introduction

Terminology

Drug misuse causes crime

Crime causes drug misuse

Reciprocal model

Common-cause model

Coincidence models

Conclusion

Further reading


Introduction

This chapter introduces the main theories that have attempted to explain the connection between drug/alcohol use and crime. These include theories that explain ways in which drug use might cause crime and crime might cause drug use. We will discuss the various meanings of causality and the ways in which these could be applied to the drugs–crime connection. It is argued that the drugs–crime link can be understood at the level of individual criminal or drug-using careers and also at the level of specific criminal or drug-using events. The main aim of the chapter is to provide a theoretical baseline from which to evaluate the findings of empirical research presented in the following chapters.


Terminology

The term 'theory' is used here broadly to include both formal theories and informal explanations. The formal theories comprise one or more hypotheses that specify the relationship between drugs and crime in a rigorous and testable form. Informal explanations include generalized statements and

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