Substance Abuse in Relation to Violent and Sexually Based Crime
The types of substances abused include alcohol, drugs and tobacco. They are abused for various reasons which are not clearly understood but the society in general pays a significant cost. The society suffers due to the increase in number of violent and sexually related crimes. The jails and prisons act as a proof of the connection involving crime and substance abuse. This factor is attributed to the increase in the abuse of drugs such as cocaine, heroine and other “club drugs”. The main effect associated with the abuse of these drugs is the alteration of attention, perception, judgment and physical control. The undoing factor associated with substance abuse is the phenomenon recognized as tolerance which requires the user to use an even large amount for intoxication of the same level to occur.
Many people nowadays engage in the abuse of substance drugs either consciously or unconsciously. The reasons for their engagement in the abuse of drug substances varies as some are addicts while those who engage in it unconsciously are either tricked into it or in some instances, they are forced to do so. To begin with, the substances abused usually vary and they include drugs such as cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine, Methamphetamines, heroine and drugs termed as “club drugs”. These drugs have different addictive features associated with them. The continued use is what eventually leads to tolerance which means a user has to increase the quantity which one was using in order to feel the same effect as before. Besides violent and sexually based crimes, the abuse of substances has been linked with many fatal accidents in the world as the drugs impair a person’s memory and makes them to feel relaxed instead of concentrating with the activity they are doing. The substance abuse in relation to violent crime indicates that the substances usually motivates the perpetrators and gives them courage to under take whatever crime they are going to perform. In some cases though, it is argued that it impairs their thinking which results to temporary insanity. This means a person won’t be able to comprehend his actions until the effects of the drug have subsided (Raine, 2006).
In addition, it has been established that substance abuse contributes greatly in crime especially on patients with mental disorders who abuse drugs. An example of this mental disorder includes a disease called schizophrenia. Several studies conducted, reveal a major connection between violence and major mental disorder although some have specifically indicated a direct connection between schizophrenia and violent crime (Jama & Archives, 2009). The results established usually conclude the fact that schizophrenia has 4 to 7 fold increased risk to violent behavior. This has led to conclusions that schizophrenia prevention will tend to decrease the rate of violent crime. A research carried out on patients with the disease found that they at least had a violent crime on their record. This was in comparison to the general population which did not record a high number of crimes. There is also some relation between genes or early environment and schizophrenia. This indicates that siblings of a person with schizophrenia have high chances of engaging in violent crime unlike those with no links to the disorder (Ferguson, 2009).
Sexual violence on the other hand has many complications associated to it. The complications are mainly related to the use of the substance which might be before the assault, during the assault or can be as a coping strategy in response to the trauma a victim met. Another complication related to sexual violence and substance abuse is that many adults caught up in it are usually intoxicated and not in a position to give consent. The drugs mostly used in commission of sexual violence are the “club drugs”. Many of these drugs have the effect of inducing energy and confusion. They also tend to improve the mood for sex. Examples of these drugs include ecstasy, GHB also known as liquid XTC, rorypnol, ketamine, LSD and PCP or angel dust. These drugs are said to cause numbness which lessens the pain during the action. The victim only becomes aware of what they went through after the drug’s effects have reduced. Sexually based crime or violence has many forms and not necessary rape of a woman (Richard, 2008). They include child molestation and the gender based hate crimes associated with perceived sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is also a form of sexual violence. The relationship between sexual based crime and substance abuse can not be viewed in the same light as substance abuse and violent crime. This is because people in this incidence at times engage in drug or substance abuse because they have been violated sexually unlike violent crimes where perpetrators have to be intoxicated before commission of their atrocities. In some instances though, drugs are usually used in order to facilitate the sexual crime. This involves the use of the drugs by the perpetrators in order to justify their actions or intoxicating their victims in order to make them vulnerable (Sherman, 2002).
Basically, drug and substance abuse needs to be checked if violent and sexually based crimes are to be reduced. This is because the abuse of the drugs has been established to play a bigger role towards the commission of these acts. The people suffering from schizophrenic need to be given regulated doses in order to decrease the effects associated with the drugs on their bodies. Stringent laws also need to be enacted which will instill discipline among the people involved in substance abuse and those who intend to start engaging in their abuse. The law should also not be lenient on sexual based criminals who use drugs in the commission of their acts.