Methamphetamine Use and Crime 

“I was going to trade stolen lobster tails for drugs,” “I robbed a house for money to buy drugs,” and “I was stealing weapons to pay for meth” (Gizzi & Gerkin, 2010). This is how it always seems to end for people that get into the drug world, either in jail or committing crime. Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system (Nida, 2019). This type of drug leaves the users in a type of elation stage for about 8-12 hours with some of the pleasures being reduced fatigue, increased attention, decreased appetite, and more energy (Nida, 2019). Again, this drug is highly addictive and once the user comes down from a high or doesn’t use as often as before there can be some drastic consequences. Some include dental problems, intense itching, violent behavior, changes in how the brain functions, etc (Nida, 2019). To prevent these health effects from increasing, the user will do whatever it takes to keep a supply going even if that results in crime or violence.

There is no specific crime linked to the use of methamphetamine but of the past decade property crimes have become more prevalent with a link to this drug. “Areas infested by meth will have higher rates of property crimes because meth users will commit more property crimes to pay for their habit (Gizzi & Gerkin, 2010). Sommers and Baskin (2006) conducted research called Methamphetamine Use and Violence that set out to interview about 205 people about their use of methamphetamine for at least three months and how many of them committed violence while under the influence of the drug. The study findings suggest that methamphetamine use heightens the risk for violence… methamphetamine has clear abuse and violence potential (Sommers & Baskin, 2006). Fifteen percent reported involvement in robbery, 17% reported involvement in attempted murder, 5% in murder, 34% had committed assault, and 53% had carried a weapon.

Methamphetamine users are more than likely to commit a crime whether it’s from withdrawals or even paranoia that could result in major jail time. Most people that did use methamphetamine in Sommers & Baskins study reported that they had never committed a violent crime prior to taking the drug (Sommers & Baskin, 2006). Like most other addictions, there are people out there willing to help others get over this hurdle of an inevitable life of crime. Methamphetamine is controlling and can cause mental and physical problems in the long run, but as time goes on, research will too and maybe in the future there will be a better solution to the epidemic of drugs and crime in the US.