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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 18-24, 2004 banner

Substance Abuse and Crime Victimization

In 2002, about 1 million violent crimes occurred where the victim perceived the offender had been drinking during the time of the offense. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2003. Criminal Victimization 2002. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Two-thirds of people who were victimized by an intimate reported that alcohol had been a factor. (Ibid.)

In about 1 in 5 violent victimizations where the victim perceived the offender to have been drinking, the victim also perceived the offender to have been using drugs. (Ibid.)

Each year, more than 600,000 college students are assaulted by other students who have been drinking. (Hingson, R.W.; Heeren, T.; Zakocs, R.C.; et al. “Magnitude of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18–24.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 63(2):136–144, 2002.)

Based on an analysis of published studies, the following percentages of violent offenders were drinking at the time of the crime: up to 86 percent of homicide offenders; 60 percent of sexual offenders; 57 percent of men, 27 percent of women involved in domestic violence; 37 percent of assault offenders; and 13 percent of child abusers. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 1997. Alcohol Alert (38). Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Health.)

A drug abuse survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2002 found that more than 10.2 million youths age 12 and over had used MDMA once in their lifetimes. This represents an increase of almost 4 million youth since2000. (Office of National Drug Control Policy. 2003. Club Drugs: 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 12.3 percent of high school students surveyed had used MDMA at least once in 2002, and 12.7 percent of college students had used MDMA at least once in 2002. (Ibid.)

In an examination of 1,033 rape victims tested for drug use, 41 percent tested negative for alcohol and other drugs; 37 percent tested positive for alcohol; 19 percent tested positive for cannabinoids; and 0.6 percent tested positive for Rohypnol. (Hindmarch, I., and Brinkmann, R. 1999. “Trends in the Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs in Cases of Sexual Assault.” Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 14, 225–231.)

While reviewing marijuana and cocaine use in offenders in urban Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring sites, it was found that violent offenders were more likely to test positive for marijuana than cocaine, while property offenders were more likely to test positive for cocaine than marijuana. (Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program 2000. 1999 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Adult and Juvenile Arrestees. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values April 18–24, 2004
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