Many people often associate drug usage with violence. It can be quite understandable as many illegal drugs can have strange effects on a person and may cause them to resort to violence in order to obtain the drug.
Violence As A Direct Response
It is stressed by many organizations, like the NIDA, that drugs have the capability of altering our mental state. The effects cannot be easily predicted and will often vary from person to person. Some drugs function as stimulants, giving the user excess amounts of energy. Mood swings, some of which can be quite extreme, can also happen as a result of drug use.
As drugs tend to inhibit a person’s judgement and decision making abilities, it is not uncommon for a person to become violent while under the influence. To them, it might seem like a normal and reasonable response.
The Criminal Factors
Drug dealers have been known to use violence when they are owed money.
There is an unfortunate criminal aspect to drug usage that often leads to violence. Throughout the world, government agencies are available and designed to combat drug usage. In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA is the largest anti-drug force in the country.
There are also numerous smaller groups within individual police and sheriff departments dedicated to combating drug use. Drugs and violence are often covered in tandem with one another during law enforcement training, as the two usually occur together.
Drug dealers and suppliers will usually respond with violence, either towards each other, their clients, and/or when faced with law enforcement. Those involved with drugs usually do not want any outside interference or competition.
It’s a lucrative business, with billions being spent on all sides of the situation. A 2011 report done by the U.S. justice department estimated that around $61 billion is spent annually by the criminal justice system to deal with crime as a result of drug activity.
The overall costs of substance abuse, when looking at the full impact, is estimated to be more than $700 billion annually, with around $193 billion on illegal drugs alone.
There are two large motivators that go along with drugs and violence: money and need to fuel addiction. Those that use drugs tend to have no control over their addiction, and will go to great lengths in order to get their next fix.
This may mean that they will resort to unsavory means to acquire drugs or money to pay for the drugs. It is possible that they will attack others, including loved ones, who stand in their way of obtaining and using drugs.
Dealers and suppliers of drugs, too, have been known to use violence. If a user is unable to pay or tries to cheat their seller out of a purchase, they may attack the user or those close to them. Conflicts also tend to arise between competing drug dealers and suppliers, who may resort to excessive violence as a means of defending their territory and business.
Unfortunately, cases such as those tend to result in innocent bystanders being caught in the literal and figurative crossfire, making violence and drugs an issue for the community.
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