Comparative rates of violent crime among regular methamphetamine and opioid users: offending and victimization
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 105, Issue 5, pages 916–919, May 2010
How to Cite
Darke, S., Torok, M., Kaye, S., Ross, J. and McKetin, R. (2010), Comparative rates of violent crime among regular methamphetamine and opioid users: offending and victimization. Addiction, 105: 916–919. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02872.x
- Issue published online: 8 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
- Submitted 15 September 2009; initial review completed 14 October 2009; final version accepted 15 November 2009
Aims To determine the comparative levels of violent offending and victimization among regular methamphetamine and heroin users.
Setting Sydney, Australia.
Participants A total of 400 regular methamphetamine (METH) and heroin (HER) users (118 methamphetamine users: METH; 161 regular heroin users: HER; 121 regular users of both: BOTH).
Findings Eighty-two per cent reported a life-time history of committing violent crime, 41% in the past 12 months. There were no group differences in life-time violence, but the METH group were significantly more likely than the HER group to have committed violence in the past 12 months (odds ratio 1.94). Nearly all (95%) reported that they had been a victim of violent crime, 46% in the preceding 12 months, with no group differences. Those who had committed a violent crime in the past 12 months were 13.23 times more likely to have been a victim in that period. The majority believed it unlikely that they would be a victim of (78%), or commit (87%), a violent crime in the next 12 months.
Conclusions Regular methamphetamine use appears to be associated with an increased risk of violent offending, but not victimization, compared with heroin use.