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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 48382 Find in a Library
Title: LONG TERM FOLLOW-UP OF MALE NON-THERAPEUTIC OPIATE USERS AND THEIR CRIMINAL HISTORIES (FROM PROBLEMS OF DRUG ABUSE IN BRITAIN, 1978, BY D J WEST - SEE NCJ-48378)
Author(s): J MOTT
Corporate Author: University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: University of Cambridge
Cambridge, CB3 9DT, England
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OPIATE-USING STATUS AND CRIMINAL HISTORY DURING A 5-YEAR PERIOD AFTER NOTIFICATION OF ADDICTION FOR A SAMPLE OF MALES IS EXAMINED.
Abstract: THE RESEARCH SAMPLE OF 116 MALES IS CONSIDERED REPRESENTATIVE OF NEW MALE CASES OF NONTHERAPEUTIC OPIATE ADDICTION NOTIFIED (LISTED AS ADDICTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT AS REQUIRED BY LAW) DURING 1969 BY HOSPITALS AND PENAL ESTABLISHMENTS, FOR WHOM THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF LICIT OPIATE USE DURING A 5-YEAR FOLLOWUP PERIOD. THE SAMPLE OF 116 WAS DIVIDED INTO 4 CATEGORIES AT THE END OF THE FOLLOWUP PERIOD: 'ON' - 42 MEN (36 PERCENT) USUALLY IN RECEIPT OF PRESCRIPTIONS FOR OPIATES WHEN AT LIBERTY 'UNCERTAIN' - 22 MEN (19 PERCENT) IN RECEIPT OF PRESCRIPTIONS AT TIMES, WITH THE INTERVALS USUALLY ACCOUNTED FOR BY PERIODS IN CUSTODY OR PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS; 'NOT KNOWN' - 31 MEN (27 PERCENT) WITH NO RECORD OF PRESCRIPTIONS OR RENOTIFICATIONS AND NO OTHER EVIDENCE OF TREATMENT FOR OPIATE USE DURING THE FOURTH AND FIFTH YEARS OF FOLLOWUP, BUT NOT OFFICIALLY DESCRIBED AS 'OFF' OPIATES; 'OFF' - 12 MEN (10 PERCENT) WHOSE LATEST REPORT FROM A HOSPITAL OR GENERAL PRACTITIONER DESCRIBED THEM AS 'OFF OPIATES', WITH NO RECORD OF PRESCRIPTIONS OR RENOTIFICATIONS DURING THE FOURTH AND FIFTH YEARS OF FOLLOWUP. NINE MEN (8 PERCENT) WERE DEAD. THE MAJORITY OF THE MEN HAD A CRIMINAL HISTORY BEFORE THEY WERE NOTIFIED. FOR ALL FOUR STATUS GROUPS, THERE WAS A POSTNOTIFICATION INCREASE IN THE PROPORTION OF THEIR CONVICTIONS FOR DRUG OFFENSES, PARTICULARLY THOSE INVOLVING OPIATES, AND IN THE NUMBER OF MEN CONVICTED OF SUCH OFFENSES. NO MORE OF THE MEN IN THE 'ON,' 'UNCERTAIN,' AND 'NOT KNOWN' STATUS GROUPS WERE CONVICTED DURING THE FOLLOWUP PERIOD THAN EXPECTED, BUT, AFTER EXCLUDING MEN CONVICTED SOLELY OF DRUG OFFENSES, SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER OF THE 'OFF' GROUP WERE CONVICTED. THE POSTNOTIFICATION CRIMINAL HISTORIES OF THIS GROUP WERE CONFINED TO DRUG OFFENSES, AND TO A LESSER EXTENT, THIS WAS ALSO TRUE FOR THE 'NOT KNOWN' GROUP. IT HAD NOT BEEN EXPECTED THAT ONLY 6 PERCENT OF THE COMBINED 'ON' AND 'UNCERTAIN' GROUPS WOULD HAVE BEEN CONVICTED SOLELY OF DRUG OFFENSES DURING THE FOLLOWUP PERIOD. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE LONGER THE MEN CONTINUED TO RECEIVE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR OPIATES, THE MORE LIKELY WERE THEIR CHANCES OF BEING CONVICTED OF BOTH DRUG AND NONDRUG (MAINLY THEFT) OFFENSES. THIS RESULT TENDS TO RENDER INVALID THE GOVERNMENT POLICY EXPECTATION THAT REASONABLE AMOUNTS OF PRESCRIBED MORPHINE OR HEROIN ADMINISTERED TO ADDICTS OVER AN INDEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME WILL EITHER REDUCE OR STABILIZE THEIR DRUG USE AND LEAD TO A FAIRLY NORMAL AND SOCIALLY USEFUL LIFE. TABLES OF DATA FROM FINDINGS ARE INCLUDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Criminal histories; Drug use; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Research
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48382

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