Financing Drug and Alcohol Addictions

Illicit drugs and alcohol cause crime as abusers engage in criminal behaviors, such as mugging and robbery, to get money to purchase the drugs and alcohol. There is a strong link between drug addiction and crime because drug addicts turn to crime to pay for drugs, causing harm to society (Bennett & Holloway, 2005). Shoplifting is one of the most common criminal acts for drug abusers because it provides quick money for drugs. Shoplifting is more common than other types of crimes, such as robbery and breaking and entering, used to fund drug addictions. 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates in the United States commit offenses to obtain money for drugs (Bennett & Holloway, 2005). Drug abusers that have
an intense dependency on a drug and do not have the financial or social means to commit crimes are more likely to commit them.
Furthermore, Bennett and Holloway (2005) highlight that shoplifting is the ideal crime for drug abusers to fund their addiction because it is not violent and is an option open to both men and women. The urban drug abuse culture is a criminal hustle-a mechanism to earn money. Even though crime for earning money is prevalent across both genders, men select shoplifting crime over other crime alternatives. The authors note that daily heroin, crack cocaine, or powdered cocaine users are more likely to report committing crimes for drug money (Bennett & Holloway, 2005). Abusers who use these drugs less often and daily marijuana and methamphetamine users report the same motivation. Besides, offenders who lack access to

legitimate earnings are more likely to be motivated. Thus, economic offenses are used to sustain recreational drug use and heavy heroin and cocaine use (Bennett & Holloway, 2005).

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