Medical Practice

Female Narcotic Addicts: A Follow-up Study of Criminal and Addiction Careers

Br Med J 1973; 4 doi: (Published 10 November 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;4:345
  1. P. T. d'Orbán


    A sample of 66 female narcotic addicts first examined in prison in 1967-8 was followed-up four years later. At the end of the period of follow-up 36% were off narcotics, 32% were still addicted, and 15% had died. Altogether 62% committed further offences. Drug offences and offences against property were almost equally frequent and accounted for over two-thirds of all convictions. There was no evidence of a link between prostitution and narcotic addiction. A significant association was found between continued delinquency and continued addiction during the period of follow-up. Addiction career and criminal career coincided in over three-quarters of the subjects, who tended either to continue manifesting both forms of deviant behaviour (46%) or to relinquish both (30%). The findings are in keeping with the view that narcotic addiction and crime are not causally related but may be parallel effects of common underlying factors leading to social deviance.

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