Impacts of Drug Related Crime

Within this module the author is going to explore the impact of drug related crime, anti- social behaviour and drug abuse within society. The author is also going to investigate theories that increase the risk of an individual misusing an illegal substance. (Weisheit, 1990)  Moreover how nature vs nurture biological and environmental factors can contribute to drug abuse. This will include areas such parenting skills and the community in which a person lives can play a major role in enhancing the risk factors. (Ungar, 2004) The gateway model focuses on how an individual will start using an illegal substance and move on to harder illegal substances. Furthermore, by implementing methods this will reduce the risk factors within substance misuse. The author is going to investigate methods and theories for reducing the impact of drug abuse. This will include the government’s implementation of the 1998 10 year drug strategy. Moreover, how the drug strategy has progressed over the ten year period. (, 2012)

Drug abuse is a major problem within the UK from the individual’s personal circumstances to war against organised crime. There are many factors why people initially take illegal drugs. Such as peer pressure, to escape or to experiment but can initially to addiction which can have a massive effect within society. An addict will have to maintain their addiction which will be done through committing petty and serious crimes. (Rasmussen. 200) Such as; shoplifting lifting, burglary and theft as most addicts, cannot maintain full time employment due to not being able to function properly within society. Although, some addicts will start to supply their drug of choice so they now they have a constant supply. Many drug dealers already live within the community to where they sell illegal drugs. This is another major impact within an area in need of urban regeneration as individuals are selling illegal drug on street corners. That is now having a snow ball effect and causing gang culture and gang related crimes. As inner city gangs become larger and try attaining additional territory Knife and gun crime is at all time high. (Bean, 2002)  A clear indication of the severity of drug related crime within the UK as it drains £13.3 billion pounds out of public resources. ( 2013) Furthermore, with a rise in anti- social behaviour local residents are feeling alienated and have nowhere to turn within their own communities. Due to being in fear of becoming targeted by local gang’s and being attacked in the street our having their home targeted. (Hallsworth, 2005)

As the individual drug addiction spirals out of control, family members are going to notice significant changes within their son our daughter. Such as mood swings, electrical items are missing such as ipod’s and mobile phones. Moreover, an untidy appearance and new friends, because an addict will associate themselves with other users to be able to access drug more frequently. (Harrell and Peterson, 1992) Bandura’s Social learning theory reinforces this notion and referrers to observational learning and this is done by observing the behaviour of others. The client has been encoding the behaviour of their peers, which have been influential to the individual. The client has encoded this information and later on imitates this behaviour to bond with their peers associated with their drug use. The individual does this without any regard for the own health or safety as suggested by Eysenck and Keane. (2010) Furthermore, the strain on the individual’s family would also be a significant impact as there being labelled within their local community. These actions could inevitably lead to arguments physical abuse and divorce within their home life. As their son our daughter may have been cut off from their own family due to being deceitful and dishonest.

A person will initially use cannabis and is the most widely drug available within the UK. As indicated by H.M Government (2010) cannabis is used by more than 22,152,000 in 2009/10 and is classed as the gateway drug. This model was developed to explain how three factors associated with cannabis can lead on to harder substances. Firstly, a cannabis smoker is at a higher risk of using harder drugs than non -users. Second factor relates to how the national framework of drugs works as an individual will normally work their way up from softer drug to harder drugs. However, there are less than 1% of users who started using harder drugs first. The third factor indicates individuals who smoke cannabis more than 50 times a year are significantly at higher risk to progress onto harder illegal substances and is called dose-response effect. (, 2008)

There are many factors that have to be taken in to consideration that contribute to an individual self harming with illegal drugs which will include: the biological and environmental factors of the individual. These factors play a significant role in an individual’s personal development and are called Nature vs Nurture. Nature relates to the genetic factors in an individual’s behaviour. However, genetics only play a small role as there is no actual gene that will make an individual an addict. But if a gene is missing others factors such as genetic and biological aspects that will make an individual more susceptible to drug use. (Fitzduff, and Stout, 2006) This is because if a gene is not present the protein that controls the function of a physiological structure may not be formed. This is clearly evident within certain diseases however; others are less obvious such as the impact of genes on behaviour can influence and individual’s disorders or traits including drug addiction. (Chasnoff, 2001) 

Nurture relates to the environment in which the individual has been raised up in. There are many factors which need to be considered that could contribute to drug addiction. Such as the family environment the individual may have not been raised within a stable environment. There may been an indication of domestic abuse, history of substance misuse or criminal activity. If the individual has been brought up in a chaotic environment all increase the risk of substance misuse. (Chasnoff, 2001)  Furthermore, the community in which the individual lives is going to be a major factor. If they live in area with high drug rates, drugs are going to be easily acceptable and peer pressure will be a significant problem to resist. Individuals who lived in area’s with no safe place to play or activities for people to engage in. All these factors contribute in a higher risk of substance misuse. (Fitzduff, and Stout, 2006)

However, these high risk factors can all be reduced by the individual by having positive peer relationships. By having positive relationships the individual will build their social skills and confidence within society and is done by social learning. Also having self control, being able to assess a situation and realise when to say no. Furthermore by taking part in activities within your local community and continuing their academic studies can contribute to having a positive mind. (Buchroth and Parkin, 2010)  Moreover, by having a stable family environment, the protective factors of the parents all contribute to lowering the risk factors. Such as good parenting skills, communicating effectively and offering their child encouragement and support will also help develop their confidence and social skills. By reducing all of the high risk factors the child will be able to make a positive contribution to society. (Inciardi, and Horowitz, et al.1993) 

Substance misuse costs the British government £373 million pounds every year as they try to eradicate illegal drugs from our UK borders. Furthermore, fighting street suppliers and funding multidisciplinary teams to support service users receive treatment and abstain from their addiction altogether. (Goodman. 2009) The National treatment Agency created the models of care; this is the national frame work for adults in the treatment of drug addiction in England. The model or care was created to help a number of diverse communities all around the country. The services for treatment of addiction first came available in 1998 within the NHS. (H.M Government, 2010) Furthermore, was part of the ten year drug strategy which is divided into four main categories and include: educating and prevention, support, treatment and counselling for people with substance misuse, using the law to combat the war against drug and fight the supply of illegal substance arriving in the UK. ( 2012) 

By 2008 the National Treatment Agency predicted a 100% increase in service users into treatment. In the treatment of substance misuse the services were delivered by Drug Action Teams within local areas. These services are arranged in to four different tiers depending on the service user’s level of need and mental health issues. Tier one service includes the initial assessment of the client to move onto specialist tiers within the service. Tier one also includes giving advice and information on a range of services such as housing, benefits and vocational qualifications. ( 2008) 

Tier two services include harm reduction services such as needle exchanges by supplying clean equipment to inject with. Furthermore, advice and guidance and genera support without the need for a care plan. Tier three and four are specialist services for individuals who have a structured care plan. (Goodman. 2009) This can be community based treatment and residential rehabilitation. The bio-psychosocial model is very effective within the treatment of addiction. It focuses on a multiple pathways on how a person became an addict; this model acknowledges treating the person as a whole. It relates to biological, psychological and sociocultural theories within this model. The assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning and interventions all relate to this model. The practitioner will have to take into consideration the biological, psychological and sociocultural factors when assessing the client. (Rasmussen, 2000)

In 2008 a review was taken within the drug strategy to target the most deprived areas and those who are significantly at a higher risk and need. By 2005 the government will spend a staggering 1.5 billion pounds on the war against drugs. Since 1998 there has been a major change in the prevention and education in substance misuse as 80% of primary and 96% of secondary schools have it within their curriculum. (, 2008) Furthermore, within the 2002 drug strategy reducing the supply of drug within local communities is another major priority. There has been a significant increase within the seizures including cocaine and heroin by 53% and 30% since the strategy began in 1998.

The 2008 drug strategy aim to reducing drug related crime and how they affect local communities by making available £100 million pounds. This has been made ready available to strengthen communities by disrupting local drug suppliers and reducing drug related crime. (Strong, and Gossop, eds. 2005) Furthermore, for every £1 spent on tackling substance misuse a further £3 pound is saved within the criminal justice system. This shows how effective war against illegal drugs is progressing. (Weisheit, 1990) With a range of interventions to help and support an individual who is in need. The interventions will include; rehabilitation, advice for the client, prescribing and harm reduction. As the drug strategy has developed over the years, the government assesses and review’s the strategy to improve the efficiency of it services within the UK. In 2008 Drug Strategy recorded the lowest level of drug use in over ten years. (2013)  

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