War On Crime Essay Research Paper Since

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War On Crime Essay, Research Paper Since the early 1960s, there has been an alarming increase in drug use in the United States. In 1962, four million Americans had tried an illegal drug. By 1999, that number had risen to a staggering 87.7 million, according to the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The study also found that the number of illicit drug users who were above the age of 12 and had used drugs in the past month reached a high of 25.4 million in 1979, decreased through the late 1980s to a low of 12 million in 1992, and has since increased to 14.8 million in 1999. Drug use among teens, and even younger children, has been steadily increasing for the past several years. According to the 1998 National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse survey, teen

marijuana use is up almost 300 percent since 1992. In 1999, 55 percent of high school seniors reported having used an illicit drug, while just seven years ago, only 41 percent said they had, according to the Monitoring the Future Study. Between 1991 and 1999, the same study reported illicit drug use among younger children (age 13 to 14) increased by 51 percent, from 18.7 percent to 28.3 percent. While most Americans are aware that drug use in the United States is becoming more prevalent among our youth, many do not realize the profound impact the drug epidemic has on the country as a whole. Widespread drug use results in a less efficient, less productive workforce. According to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey, employees who test positive for

drugs make more than twice as many claims for worker s compensation, use almost twice the medical benefits, and take one-third more leave time as non-users. They are also 60 percent more likely to be responsible for accidents. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) estimates that the monetary cost of illegal drug use to society is $110 billion a year. In addition, drug-related violence and crime pose a grave, and much more direct threat to the United States. According to the 1999 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program, 75 percent of the male adults arrested in New York City for committing a violent crime tested positive for drug use. This report also showed that in smaller cities like Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the percentages were as high

as 64 percent. The drug epidemic is also taking a toll on the very core of American society – the family. According to the ONDCP’s 1998 National Drug Control Strategy, drug use causes violence and abuse within families: 1) One-quarter to one-half of all incidents of domestic violence are drug-related, 2) A survey of state child welfare agencies found substance abuse to be one of the key problems exhibited by 81 percent of the families reported for child maltreatment, and 3) 3.2 percent of pregnant women – nearly 80,000 mothers – used drugs regularly. These statistics, reflect only the social and familial effects of drug abuse, and therefore, show only a small portion of the suffering endured by American families as a result of drugs abuse (Drug Use In The United States).

Statistics would indicate that some measure of control is needed. But as stated in The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, [T]he United States has an enormous drug abuse and addiction problem; however, the attempts to cure it are worse than the disease itself. In this paper, I will attempt to answer the following questions: 1) How illicit and/or legal drug use relates to crime? Here I will also address the statistics quantifying the occurrence of drug use in the U.S. In this section I will note the general characteristics of those we identify as offenders and victims. 2) What are the causes of drug use? 3) Finally, how can we control this behavior in order to reduce the harm? Here I will analyze crime control strategies vs. harm reduction strategies and determine which