Does Drug Addiction Affect a Person’s Behavior

Does Drug Addiction Affect a Person’s Behavior?






Does Drug Addiction Affect a Person’s Behavior?

The article The Intersection of Drug Use and Criminal Behavior: Results from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse was published in 1992 in the 38th volume of the Crime and Delinquency periodical. The article is authored by Lana Harrison and Joseph Gfroerer, both working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an institute affiliated to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). Harrison and Gfroerer’s discussion is based on the premise that substance abuse is highly associated with criminal activity. The investigation was carried out through the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse conducted in 1991 in twenty-three cities to ascertain the credibility of earlier studies based on the same topic. Substance Use and Delinquent Behavior Among Serious Adolescent Offenders is another article that determines the association between substance abuse and unlawful tendencies. The study was authored and compiled by Edward Mulvey, Carol Schubert and Laurie Chassin in 2010. Information given within the publication was acquired from 1,300 offenders convicted for prime crime (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). The publication appeared in the Juvenile Justice Bulletin journal, in the December issue. Additionally, the bulletin is affiliated to the U.S. Department of Justice, specifically the Office of Justice Programs. Although both articles offer credible information on the association of substance abuse and criminal patterns, Harrison and Gfroerer’s publication is more influential since it offers a broader and more in-depth investigation in terms of duration, number of statistical indicators and behavior identification.

Lana Harrison is a sociology lecturer and researcher working with the Center of Drug and Alcohol Studies located in the University of Delaware. Harrison has established her authority and credibility as a writer by publishing more than sixty-five articles dealing with substance abuse. Within the past, she has collaborated with NIDA on two occasions and during the release of the publication, was the principal statistician within the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research (DEPR) at NIDA (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). Joseph Gfroerer is a renowned biomedical expert centering his work on substance abuse in the US. Gfroerer has authored at least twenty-five publications on drug use in the US and this includes various regional studies on the same. During the publication, Gfroerer was the executive administrator of Survey and Analysis in DEPR and therefore accorded credibility to the article (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). The position taken by Harrison and Gfroerer is neutral due to the fact that they work with a hypothesis in the discussion and are therefore able to analyze the reliability of their statements. Evidence accorded in the discussion is factual, combining both primary (1991 survey) and secondary information (data from previous studies). Ideas within the publication are ordered in written and numerical format, with the former arranged in various sections that are identified by use of subheadings whereas the latter is presented in statistical tables (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). The writing approach is formal due to the scientific nature of the document and the fact that it is peer reviewed material.

One of the authors of the second article, Edward Mulvey, is a psychiatry lecturer working with the University Of Pittsburg School Of Medicine, particularly the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). Mulvey has earned four national and academic awards within his field and has published ten articles, thereby making him an authoritative icon within the writing and lecturing field. Carol Schubert is a leading figure within the Pathways Study periodical as a coordinator in various fields. Additionally, Schubert is the Principal Research Program Overseer in WPIC therefore making her an expert within the field (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). Laurie Chassin is a psychology lecturer working in the Arizona State University. Chassin is the overseer of the department within the institute. The history of the three authors with the U.S. Department of Justice reflects their credibility on the given issue. The position taken by the writers is in alignment with former investigations within the same field and acts as a tool for enhancing comprehension within the given issue. Evidence offered for the various assertions is statistical in nature and acquired form other sources thereby making it secondary; qualitative information is largely used than quantitative information (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). Idea presentation is in form of written materials in various categories with the combination of charts and graphs as visual supports. Writing employs the formal style by the fact that the document is a periodical with wide readership.

Harrison and Gfroerer’s article precedes Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin’s article in various factors namely the duration, indicators and behavior discussion. Harrison and Gfroerer’s publication offers a succinct comparison of substance abuse and unlawful issues spanning a duration of nineteen years from 1973 to 1991 (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). This makes the discussion more informative due to the nature of the long-term approach as opposed to Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin’s publication that covers a seven year period from 2004 to 2010 (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). Harrison and Gfroerer’s article employs diverse indicators with regard to the statistical measures in terms of age (18-34 years), gender (males), social status (underprivileged), educational levels (dropouts), race (Whites, Hispanics and Blacks), and marital status (singles) (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). In addition to this, drugs discussed include cannabis, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol. On the other hand, Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin use a few indicators comprising of age (14-17yrs), gender (male and females) and race (African-Americans, Non-Hispanics/Caucasians and Hispanics) (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). With regard to substance abuse, only two categories are offered: alcohol and drugs, making the latter indicator ambiguous. Concerning behavior identification, Harrison and Gfroerer offer three categories; the first is violent offenses such as the use of weapons (guns and knives) and physical torture, the second is property crimes like theft, and the third is ‘other’ which covers drug peddling (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin’s article does not identify specific behaviors and only refers to them as serious criminal tendencies (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). Therefore, Harrison and Gfroerer are able to offer statistics related to each of the identified behaviors within the article allowing the reader to note the types of behaviors and the magnitude of the actions within the society; Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin’s publication is unable to achieve this.

In conclusion, the articles offer useful information with regard to substance abuse on an individual’s behavior and this has been highly supported with statistical materials. With this, the articles are both persuasive as noted in their premises and arguments. However, by comparing the persuasive aspect in both articles, Harrison and Gfroerer’s publication surpasses Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin’s due to the depth of the study (Harrison, & Joseph, 1992). The first strength is noted in that Harrison and Gfroerer offer a discussion spanning nineteen years while Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin’s offers a seven year discussion. Secondly, Harrison and Gfroerer use six indicators and four drugs in the discussion whereas Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin employ three indicators and two categories for the drugs (Mulvey, Carol, & Laurie, 2010). Thirdly, Harrison and Gfroerer analyze specific behaviors grouped in three classes, accompanied by the statistical support for each while Mulvey, Schubert and Chassin do not discuss any definite behaviors at all. Therefore, due to these identified elements, Harrison and Gfroerer’s article assumes a higher influence attributable to the persuasion level embedded in the covered depth.


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Mulvey, E. P., Carol, A. S., & Laurie, C. (2010). Substance Use and Delinquent Behavior Among Serious Adolescent Offenders. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Retrieved from

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