A glance at the "Prevention of drug-related crime” report

Throughout history human beings have used psychotropic drugs, both legal and illegal. However, this consumption can have an effect on crime, either because the substance causes violent or aggressive behavior, or because the need to consume is translated into economic crimes in order to support an addiction. Young people are particularly at risk of consuming and committing these offenses.

This report therefore focuses on crime committed by youth under the influence of drugs or to acquire drugs, and more specifically on the way different societies have striven to prevent these crimes. To start, the study presents a theoretical framework for the prevention of drug-related crime. First of all the different substances and their criminalistic potential are examined: not all drugs pose the same risks to the health of individuals or society. It then focuses on interventions that have been shown to be effective in the prevention of youth delinquency. Finally, it identifies the approaches recognized as effective in reducing illegal drug use in schools, the family and the community. Successful approaches to harm reduction (reduction of crime committed without necessarily reducing consumption) and recidivism prevention are also presented.

Secondly, drug strategies of seven countries are studied as well as their approach to crime reduction: Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Portugal, the Netherlands, Australia and the United States, thereby providing a range of preventive approaches. The study is particularly interested in how youth are taken into consideration: is the approach participatory? Is it intended to reduce marginalization? Does it include interventions in schools? In the community?

Finally, the study presents a comparative analysis of these different approaches, emphasizing the values that underpin each strategy, as well as the wide range of possible interventions for the implementation of prevention.

The report will be available shortly.