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Alcohol can cause intoxication. Being intoxicated in certain situations is a crime in many parts of the U.S. Such cases include drunk driving, being drunk in public, and having open containers of alcohol on streets.
Alcohol can lower a person’s inhibitions or increase aggression. This increases the likelihood of committing assault, homicide, and other violent crimes.
Alcohol can be a dangerous tool many people may use to victimize other people. This is the case with child abuse and sexual assault.
Let’s take a closer look at these alcohol-related crimes and their statistics.
Below are some crimes closely associated with alcohol. If you believe you or someone else is in danger, call 911 immediately.
Drunk drivers have impaired reaction time and judgment. Sometimes referred to as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunk driving has one of the most severe penalties.
Alcohol can make some people hostile. Some people feel inhibited from alcohol and believe it’s acceptable to commit alcohol-related violence. In some cases, the effects are enhanced in the presence of other intoxicated people, and they antagonize each other.
Alcohol can escalate the severity of aggression, potentially leading to homicide.
Homicide is a general term that includes murder and non-criminal killing acts. It carries the most severe penalties of any crime in most U.S. jurisdictions.
Many perpetrators of domestic, marital, or intimate partner violence (IPV) use alcohol as an excuse, tool, or justification to commit violence. They might say their violent behavior resulted from alcohol use instead of admitting to willful action.
If you or someone else is in danger, please call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
Alcohol misuse is also heavily involved in some cases of child abuse and neglect.
Parents who abuse alcohol might also neglect their children, leaving them at risk for abuse in future relationships. Child abuse victims may also develop alcohol use disorder (AUD) later in life as a result of the trauma.
If you believe someone else is in danger, immediately call 911 or The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).
Sexual assault offenders often use alcohol to lower victims’ inhibitions or incapacitate them to avoid resistance.
Like offenders of domestic violence, sexual offenders may also use alcohol to justify their actions.
If you or someone else is in danger, immediately call 911 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).
Alcohol abuse may increase suicide risk by lowering inhibitions, increasing impulsiveness, and impairing judgment. Some people may also use alcohol to ease the distress associated with committing suicide.
If you or someone else is in danger, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Children and adolescents aren’t physically or mentally mature enough to handle intoxication or other effects of alcohol. This is why the legal drinking age in most parts of the U.S. is 21. It’s also a crime for anyone younger to possess alcohol.
Alcohol can intensify feelings of desperation. It can push some people to rob from someone else.
Some studies supported the notion that alcohol was most likely involved if the crime is more serious. In a 1998 study that looked into robberies, 15% of cases are committed by people who are drunk. By comparison, the rates are 37% for rapes and sexual assaults and 26% for aggravated and simple assaults.6
There are several treatment options available for alcoholism. People suffering from alcoholism must seek professional treatment advice to determine the most suitable option.11, 12
People with severe alcohol addiction will benefit from staying in an inpatient rehab facility. Outpatient rehab offers a less intensive approach, allowing people to maintain regular lives and live at home while under treatment.
People might take medications to control their cravings and prevent relapse. Some also find behavioral therapy to be beneficial. Others may also choose to join support groups where they can find guidance and peer support.
Treatment programs aim to not only help people quit drinking but also to address and treat co-occurring conditions.
This involves treatment professionals working with people who have depression, anxiety, anger management issues, or any other medical condition that accompanies their alcoholism.
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