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Substance Abuse and Crime and Victimization

One third of victims of workplace violence between 1993 and 1999 reported that they believed that the perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crime. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. December 2001. Violence in the Workplace, 1993-99. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

A study into the violent deaths of pregnant women suspected to be victims of intimate partner violence found that there was a known history of substance abuse in 26.8 percent of the cases. (Walton-Moss, B., Campbell, J. January 2002. "Intimate Partner Violence: Implications for Nursing." Issues in Nursing. Vol.7 [1].)

Perpetrator problem drinking has been associated with an eight-fold increase in intimate partner violence and a two-fold increase in murder or attempted murder of female partners. (Ibid.)

A study of battered women who kill their partners has revealed that substance abuse and frequency of intoxication were major risk factors in the commission of the crime. (Ibid.)

Youths aged 12 to 17 who reported violent behaviors at school or at work in the 2000-2001 year reported higher rates of past year illicit drug and alcohol use compared with youths who did not report violent behavior. Their actions included serious fighting, group-against-group fights, and attacking others with the intent of seriously injuring them. (National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information. 2002. Youth Violence and Substance Abuse, 2001 Update. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

In 2001, 47 percent of students surveyed in grades 9 through 12 reported that they had drunk alcohol within 30 days of the survey, and 5 percent had drunk alcohol on school property. Twenty-four percent had used marijuana within 30 days of the survey, and 5 percent had used marijuana on school property. Twenty-nine percent of the students surveyed reported that they had been offered marijuana on school property. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. November 2002. Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2002. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

A drug abuse survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2000 found that more than 6.4 million youths age 12 and over had used MDMA once in their lifetimes. MDMA (or Ecstasy) damages areas of the brain that are essential for thought and memory. (Office of National Drug Control Policy. 2002. MDMA (Ecstasy): Fact Sheet. Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President.)

A survey of frequency of MDMA usage among high school seniors and college students found that 9.2 percent of high school students surveyed had used MDMA at least once in 2001, and 9.1 percent of college students had used MDMA at least once in 2000. (Ibid.)

In the combined years of 1999 and 2000, 53,469 arrests for drug law violations were reported to the U.S. Department of Education by college and university campus security offices. In the same period of time, 85,975 arrests for liquor law violations were reported. (Office of Post-Secondary Education. 2002. College & University Campus Crime Statistics, 1998-2000. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.)

Alcohol has been implicated in 46 to 75 per cent of the reported acquaintance rapes among15-to-24-year-olds. (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.1999. Dangerous Liaisons: Substance Abuse and Sex. New York: Columbia University.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Fulfill the Promise April 6–12, 2003
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