In the last 25 years, there have been a large number of studies conducted on the connection between drug misuse and crime. However, there have been few attempts to date to conduct a meta-analysis of this research. There have also been few attempts to breakdown the relationship by type of drugs and type of crime. This paper investigates the relationship between drug use and criminal behavior by conducting a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis of the strength of the relationship. Results of a review of 30 studies showed that the odds of offending were three to four times greater for drug users than non-drug users. The odds of offending were highest among crack users and lowest among recreational drug users. This relationship held true across a range of offence types, including robbery, burglary, prostitution and shoplifting. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the study for research on the drugs-crime connection and for government policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107 - 118
Number of pages11
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008

    Research areas

  • drugs, crime, robbery, heroin, crack, cocaine

ID: 63243