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Statistical Overviews

Substance Abuse and Crime

A total of 1.5 million arrests were reported in 1999 for drug abuse violations. (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 15 October 2000. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 1999. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 211.)

The number of persons incarcerated in state prisons for drug offenses increased 19% between 1990 and 1998. (Beck, A. August 2000. Prisoners in 1999, NCJ 183476. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.)

In 1995 and 1997, almost one-third of all students in grades nine through twelve (32%) reported that someone had offered, sold, or given them an illegal drug on school property. This was an increase from 1993, when 24% of such students reported that illegal drugs were available to them on school property. (Kaufman, P. et al. 2000. Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2000. NCES 2001-017/
NCJ-184176. Washington, DC: U.S. Departments of Education and Justice.)

In 1997, about 51% of students in grades nine through twelve had at least one drink of alcohol in the previous thirty days. (Ibid.)

High school seniors who used drugs were more likely than those who did not to be the victims of violence. Eleven percent of students using drugs (other than marijuana) three or more times reported they had been injured with a weapon, and 21% had been injured on purpose without the use of a weapon. (Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 36.)

One-half of all state inmates and a third of convicted jail inmates serving time for violence against an intimate reported that they had been drinking for six or more hours prior to the offense. (Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). March 1998. Violence by Intimates, Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 28.)

It is estimated that nearly 14 million U.S. residents, ages twelve and older, used illicit drugs in 1997. Of that number, 4 million were thought to be chronic drug users—3.6 million chronic cocaine users and 810,000 heroin users. (Office of National Drug Control Policy. National Drug Control Strategy, 1999. Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President of the United States.)

The rate of drug-related murders declined from 1,302 in 1992 to 786 in 1997. (Ibid.)

In 1997, 62.5% of the federal inmate population were sentenced for drug offenses, up from 53% in 1990. (Ibid.)

The National Institute of Justice's Arrestee and Drug Abuse Monitoring drug-testing program found that more than 60% of adult male arrestees tested positive for drugs in 1997. (Ibid., 24)

Researchers estimate that one-fourth to one-half of men who commit acts of domestic violence also have substance-abuse problems. (Ibid., 25)

A survey of state child welfare agencies by the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse found substance abuse to be one of the top two problems exhibited by 81% of families reported for child maltreatment. (Ibid.)

Note: OVC makes no representation concerning the accuracy of data from non-Department of Justice sources.


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