The concept of substance-abusing individuals in the justice system varies depending on the research study and different definitions that are used. Often the term substance-abusing offenders refers to individuals with substance use behaviors (i.e., using illicit substances and/or consuming alcohol) that influence offending (i.e., causation for criminal behavior), while others assume that those engaged in criminal behavior use substance abuse as part of their lifestyle (i.e., nondirective influence). Since the drug-crime nexus is very convoluted, it is unclear how substance abuse affects criminal behavior or even how involvement in criminal behavior affects substance use. This entry provides an overview of the concept behind substance-abusing justice involved individuals including a discussion of the criteria for diagnosing substance abuse disorder and the prevalence of substance use disorders ...

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