Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This descriptive study was designed to determine whether substance abusers could be differentially characterized by past involvement in crimes and, further, whether there is a relationship between the type of substance abused and the degree of violence of the crimes committed. By comparing the socio-demographic characteristics, substance-use, and strain-inducing events reported by 598 residential and outpatient treatment seekers in the Kentucky Treatment Outcome and Performance Pilot Studies Enhancement Project, this study provides further understanding of the crime-substance relationship. This study utilized Robert Agnew's 1992 general strain theory. Results suggest that substance addicts and substance users can be characterized in terms of their previous involvement in crime and their perceptions of personal strain. However, further differentiation between nonviolent and violent criminal offenders and type of substance used is not substantiated by findings presented in this study.


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Sociology | Substance Abuse and Addiction