Substance Use and Abuse, and Homicidal Threats

  • Stephen J. Morewitz

There is extensive research, which shows that substance use and abuse contributes to an increased risk of homicide. Alcohol and drug use, including cocaine, opiates, and methamphetamines, have been implicated as triggering or facilitating factors in homicides, including partner homicides and severe domestic violence incidents (Wolfgang, 1958; Sharps et al., 2001a,b; Cunradi et al., 2002; Kantor and Straus, 1989; Bailey and Shaw, 1989; Tardiff et al., 1994, 1995a; Harruff et al., 1988). Alcohol and drug intoxication is also linked to workplace violence (Tolhurst et al., 2003). Drugs and alcohol weaken the social control process as they lead to impairment in judgment, memory, and trigger rage, hatred, and associated violence.

As mentioned in  Chapter 2, certain types of drugs are associated with behavior problems which can result in homicidal impulses and threats. Chronic use of high doses of methamphetamines can lead to hallucinations and delusions that are similar to a paranoid...


Intimate Partner Violence Partner Violence Male College Student Workplace Violence Spouse Abuse 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Morewitz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.TarzanaUSA
  3. 3.Buffalo GroveUSA

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