A decade of crime in South Australia

image - DTC 2013 SA Square
Author: Rachel Sutherland, Lucy Burns

Resource Type: Posters

The relationship between drug use and crime has been studied extensively over the past few decades, with both international and Australian studies showing that drug users are more likely to engage in crime that those who do not use drugs (AIHW 2011; Bennett et al. 2008). More specifically, a meta-analysis of studies published between 1980 and 2003 found that the odds of offending were three to four times greater for drug users than nondrug users - with the odds of offending being highest among crack users and lowest among recreational drug users (Bennett at al. 2008).
However, much of the criminological research in this area has traditionally focused on users of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine - with relatively little attention paid to those who use ecstasy, despite its high prevalence (Hendrickson & Gerstein 2005; Yacoubian et al 2004). In addition, those studies which have specifically examined the nexus between ecstasy use and crime appear to have focused on the use of ecstasy among offenders or police detainees, rather than looking at crime among ecstasy users.

With this is mind, this poster aims to compare criminal activity among regular ecstasy users (REU) and people who inject drugs (PWID) in South Australia, from 2003-2013.