Research from the Home Office has found that the reduction in heroin and crack cocaine users is a key factor in fighting crime in the UK. This new information cites the boom of heroin addiction in the 80s and 90s as a major cause of the peak in crime in 1995.
Acknowledging that heroin addiction is a major driver of certain types of crimes is only the start. The Home Office said they want to focus on reducing the number of heroin users to bring down crime rates even further.
This could very well mean expanding treatment options for people with a heroin addiction. The UK has already trying fighting drug addiction by locking up addicts and that was a failure so treatment appears to be the only logical solution left.
Because heroin and crack cocaine are believed to be the two biggest causes of certain types of crime, they will be the target for any home office initiative. The research shows cannabis, legal highs, powdered cocaine and ecstasy have a much weaker tie to the overall crime rate and as such, they are less of a concern.
The author of this new research, Nick Morgan, said that at least 50% of acquisition crime, crimes like high volume burglary and car theft between 1981 and 1995 can be attributed to the rise in heroin abuse. The idea that acquisition crimes are caused, at least in part by heroin abuse is backed up by statistics from the US, Ireland and many other western nations that had a heroin epidemic.
This research may help push better heroin addiction treatment in prisons, more treatment on the NHS and may even result in an increase in the number of heroin treatment centres for the poor. That would not only help crime statistics, it would damage the organised crime supplying the drugs and help many Brits gain a new lease on life.
To learn more about heroin addiction check out the Life Works Heroin Information Centre.