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Illicit Drug Use and Property Offending Among Police Detainees

NCJ Number
Deborah Bradford; Jason Payne
Date Published
January 2012
12 pages
This study examined whether the frequency of recent illicit drug uses is related to higher levels of offending among police detainees in Australia.
This study investigates whether the frequency of property offending escalates with offenders' self-reported illicit drug use. Findings demonstrate that heavy drug use of either amphetamines or opioids in the 30 days prior to arrest is associated with frequency of property offending. Results show a high level of illicit drug use among police detainees. Outcomes from regression modeling reveal that heavy users of illicit opioids and amphetamines, who reported at least 16 days of use in the month prior to arrest, had significantly more property charges recorded at arrest than both less frequent (moderate) users and non-users. Compared to non-users, heavy opioid users had 57 percent more property charges recorded at arrest while heavy amphetamine use was associated with a 53 percent increase in property charge counts. Higher rates of property offending were also related to younger age, being unemployed and having reported illicit use of benzodiazepines in the 30 days prior to arrest. Data were collected from the Australian Institute of Criminology's Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program on a national cohort of 9,453 arrestees interviewed between 2008 and 2010. Tables, references, and notes