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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74065 Find in a Library
Title: Drugs and Criminality in Scandinavia (From Crime and Crime Control in Scandinavia, 1976-80, P 29-40, 1980, Norman Bishop, ed. - See NCJ-74060)
Author(s): L Lenke
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This article describes how the relationship between drugs and crimunality is perceived in Scandinavia and documents research in this area; it distinguishes between alcohol and other drugs classified as 'narcotics.'
Abstract: Recent studies in Sweden have shown strong correlations between the variations in the per capita consumption of alcohol over time and the rates of violent crimes. These findings are also applicable to other Scandinavian countries. The Scandinavian drug problem is characterized by the dominant use of amphetamines as opposed to opiates among injecting addicts. In Sweden, the use of amphetamines has been seen almost exclusively among persons who have experienced prison or reform school. The use of cannabis products has not shown this association with criminality, and heroin use remains minor. Although comparative analyses are lacking in this field, it can be said that the drug situation in Denmark resembles the Swedish pattern and that injecting addicts are rare in Norway and Finland. Drug use's relationship to criminality in Scandinavia is self-evident, because almost all forms of handling narcotic drugs are illegal. In addition, an association between the availability of drugs in society and variation in the rates for property offenses is likely, because the illegality of narcotic drugs necessarily leads to high prices and forces drug users to subsidize their addiction through property crime. Moreover, a Swedish study found that increases or decreases in the supply of narcotics produce corresponding increases or decreases in the rate of property crime. It is concluded that a large per capita alcohol consumption increases the risk of transforming conflict situations into overt violent acts, and that variations in drug availability and price levels markedly influence the frequency of property crimes. One implication of these studies is that changes in the level of punishment have not affected crime rates, whereas changes in the per capita consumption of alcohol have affected crime trends. Graphs, notes, and six references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Crime Causes; Crime patterns; Crime Rate; Criminality prediction; Drug abuse; Drug dependence; Drug Related Crime; Finland; Scandinavia
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