Rising Drug Rates Worry Law Enforcement Officials

By Staff Writer

Many crimes that are committed are a direct result of addiction, and experts say that working to prevent substance abuse could lead to a drastic reduction in criminal activity throughout the country.

A group of local law enforcement members and community representatives recently met in Rhode Island to discuss ways that crime might be controlled through limiting addiction, according to the Woonsocket Patch.

Members of the Woonsocket Prevention Coalition said that everything from robberies to murders can often be traced back to drugs. Police chief Thomas Carey added that he was present at the recent arrest of a woman who tried to rob a donut shop. She told him that she needed the money to feed her crack cocaine addiction.

Given the fact that drug abuse rates for many substances are rising, crime rates could also see a dramatic increase. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that the number of people seeking treatment from emergency rooms for drug-related problems went up by nearly 75 percent from 2004 to 2008.

Furthermore, the Office of National Drug Control Policy states the majority of inmates in federal prisons were sentenced for drug-related offenses.