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Trends in the commission of crime among narcotic addicts over successive periods of addiction and nonaddiction

, : Trends in the commission of crime among narcotic addicts over successive periods of addiction and nonaddiction. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 10(4): 481-489

Although several studies have documented high levels of criminal activity among narcotic addicts, especially during periods of active addiction, few studies have delineated the types of criminal activities involved or have attempted to uncover trends in such activities over successive periods of addiction and nonaddiction in addicts' careers. In the present series of analyses, the criminal activities of 354 male narcotic addicts were categorized and traced individually over time using five, standardized, crime-days-per-year-at-risk measures in the areas of theft, violence, drug sales, deception/forgery, and other crimes. In addition, a sixth composite measure was also employed. Although large differences among addicts in patterns of criminal activity over time were much in evidence and may be useful as a basis for a criminal typology, this same heterogeneity tends to preclude definitive statements concerning addicts as a group. This caveat notwithstanding, there does appear to be a general tendency for criminal activity to diminish over successive periods of nonaddiction and to increase irregularly over successive periods of addiction. The agreement of these findings with those of earlier group analyses by the authors is discussed.

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Accession: 006839508

PMID: 6534180

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