3 years ago

Prescription Drug Misuse and Arrest History

Lauren Wright, Jason Ford

Background: Prescription drug misuse is widely acknowledged as a major public health issue in the United States. Surprisingly little research examines the association between prescription drug misuse and history of arrest among adults. Methods: We use data from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to examine this association. Arrest was self-reported and separated into three categories: any, property crime, or violent crime. Prescription drug misuse was defined as use without a prescription or solely for the feeling or experience caused by the drug. We looked at the misuse of any prescription drug and also separate classes of misuse (pain relievers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants). Several multivariate logistic regression models were estimated to examine the association between prescription drug misuse and arrest. Results: Findings showed that 8.62% of respondents reported prescription drug misuse and 3.55% reported any arrest. In multivariate models that included demographic characteristics and measures of alcohol and other drug use, respondents who reported prescription drug misuse were at increased odds of arrest. Conclusions: The current research shows that prescription drug misuse is significantly associated with arrest, but more research is needed on the causal nature of this association. The criminal justice and drug treatment systems must develop treatment and rehabilitation services that understand the close association between prescription drug misuse and arrest.

Publisher URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10826084.2017.1311348

DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1311348

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