Society & Culture

The War on Drugs Seen Through Statistics

As a society, we all have a great interest in studying crime patterns and statistics. It’s fascinating to take a hard look at these types of statistics, as they tell us ways in which our society is moving and changing, and it also points to areas where more care is needed in order to make the social changes that are necessary if we are to protect the interests of the public.

There’s no doubt that crime will always be with us, as crime is a fact of life. Statistics can point the way, however, to how greater changes can be made in keeping crime under control. What recent statistics are showing us is that regardless of all the work our government has done on “the war on drugs,” the fact is that drug-related crimes remain a major cause of felonies in the United States. In this regard, we may have to regard the “war on drugs,” in its current form, as a losing proposition. For all the massive amount of money spent by our government, we are still seeing massive numbers of people committing crimes in order to obtain drugs or to quickly obtain the money needed to buy drugs.

Drug-Related Crimes By Generation

What we see when we study these felony statistics is that the types of crimes that are committed in order to get drugs are related to the age of the drug user. Younger people, (like students) who are convicted of crimes related to drug abuse tend to be arrested on charges of possession or of theft from a residence. The next generation up (like teachers) who are arrested on drug charges tend to commit property theft or are found to be in possession. They may also be arrested for DUI charges. For the next generation up (like school principals) the drug-related charges tend to be the same as for teachers. So overall, the top crimes committed for each generation today tend to be drug-related, or crimes of theft or burglary (which are also usually drug-related).

A New Approach Needed

All of this indicates that a new approach is needed in order to deal with the problem of drug abuse in the United States. Drug abuse accounts for most of the crimes committed in our country, and unfortunately, the problem seems to be growing. Opioid addiction is behind many of the crimes committed today, and it is sending the mortality rate for young people sky high. More research is obviously needed, but it’s clear that our leaders must rethink the “war on drugs” if we are to have any chance of ever winning it.

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