Alcohol abuse and crime

Considering the issues carefully

At the invitation of the Task Force on Crime Prevention, created by the Ministry of Public Health, Éduc’alcool submitted a brief on the topic, recommending that the government consider all the issues very carefully.

First, Éduc’alcool pointed out that the vast majority of drinkers are not and never will be involved in criminal or delinquent activity.

It noted that most adults who had committed a crime had abused alcohol at some time during their lives, and somewhere between one third and one half of them had a drinking problem.

Furthermore, it noted that no causal relationship can be established between drinking and crime, but there is a connection between alcohol abuse and criminal activity. Alcohol itself has no universal crime-inducing properties, therefore personal and circumstantial explanations must be considered, if we are to fully understand the phenomenon.

In order to properly address the alcohol-crime issue, we need to know who the real and potential criminals are, and pursue related research efforts and prevention programs, so that we can make wise decisions, since the key to success lies in the precision and relevance of the various interventions. All aspects must be considered very carefully.

In addition, Éduc’alcool stated that it would be appropriate for government to:

  • support and increase research designed to identify people at risk;
  • implement secondary prevention programs for those at risk;
  • considerably enhance so-called tertiary prevention programs, which are intended for people convicted of crimes in which alcohol was a factor.

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