Substance Abuse and Criminality .
R. Sinha and C. Easton,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
27(4): 513-526, 1999.
Substance abuse issues and the law have become intricately linked over the years.
This article reviews the current research underlying the association between substance abuse and
crime, and provides an overview of the pertinent issues in conducting a substance abuse
evaluation in the forensic context. The epidemiology of substance abuse and crime is reviewed,
exploring the association between crime and specific psychoactive substances. Clinical
considerations underlying the association are discussed, with specific attention paid to the
pharmacological effects of psychoactive substances and to the role of substance use in individuals
with serious associated psychopathology. Diagnostic and etiological issues that are important in
differentiating substance abuse from criminality are considered in the context of conducting
forensic evaluations. Finally, key components of a forensic substance abuse evaluation are