Crime, substance use and depression are intertwined


A 2019 study investigated the links and development of relationships between crimesubstance abuse, and depression in adolescence and adulthood. Some hypotheses were analyzed: the first was on the relationship between criminal behavior and a series of problems in other areas of life, including depression and substance abuse.


The second hypothesis supports the existence of a self-medication mechanism in which alcohol and drugs are mechanisms for coping with anxiety and depression. The third hypothesis investigates the link between substance abuse and reduced ability to engage in activities that express mental health loss or problems. Another hypothesis could be that represented by the need to commit crimes to support the use of substances. 

The first results confirm a strong continuity of mental , emotional and behavioral problems in adulthood and adolescence, both in males and females. A strong correlation has also been found between substance use-dependence and crime. For women , the findings are that substance use creates symptoms of depression. For men, however, crime can predict depression and substance use. Prevention and psychoeducational interventions should be optimized to reach all young people, even before certain behaviors occur. 

  • What are the relationships between crime, substance use and depression? (


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