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Drug use and crime: a common aetiology

"We should recognize that drug use and crime often co-exist alongside a range of other deviant activities. Trying to develop theories that focus specifically on only two of these activities is misplaced: Instead, we should return to general theories of deviance," Gary R. Potter and Aleksandra Osiniagova (London South Bank University) in a newly published study remark.

"Crime clearly can and does fund drug use, but understanding the relationship between problematic drug use and acquisitive crime using an economically focused cause-and-effect model does not account for the complexities of the relationship (yet alone any broader category of drug-related crime).

Our data, taken as a whole, support a common aetiology approach to understanding the relationship rather than any simpler uni- or bidirectional causation. The data show examples of crime and drug use being related to peer-group influences, to economic pressures, or to a wider deviant lifestyle...

The idea that psychological needs or personality traits may underscore both deviant behaviours further demonstrates the strength of common aetiology approaches to the drug-crime-link over simpler cause- and effect models ..."

The meaning of high – Variations according to drug, set, setting and time
Wouters, Marije; Fountain, Jane; Korf, Dirk J (eds.)