AA Linked to Lower Murder Rate
> 9/25/2006 2:10:50 PM

A little while back Dr. William Hapworth wrote about the value of 12 step programs in helping many beat addiction and the anxiety and depressions that often accompany it. Work out of University of Toronto and Dalhousie University has found that getting more alcoholics into group therapy situations could have the added bonus for society of helping reduce murder rates. Researchers, looking at data from Ontario, Canada, found that, at least among men, an increase of one AA member per 100,000 people was followed by a drop of .3 to .5 percent in Ontario's homicide rate. The relationship was not present in the case of women.

In reality, this news shouldn't come as that big of a surprise. Violence and aggression have long been linked to alcohol consumption, so it would make sense that by treating alcoholics, those most chronically drunk and often disorderly, that we might cut down on not only murder, but assault and other crimes associated with violence and aggression.

"[One researcher,] Asbridge, said government officials might want to reduce drinking rates and, presumably, violence by raising taxes.

“Right now, in Canada, beer is typically taxed at a lower level than wine and thus is more economical to purchase with respect to its alcohol content (to) price per volume of alcohol,” he said.

“By making beer more costly we might have some aggregate impact on consumption patterns and, in turn, the negative consequences associated with its use.”"

While it might not be a politically popular move, the same type of legislation may well have a positive effect on the murder rate in the U.S. Some additional research and analysis would certainly confirm this before any proposals are put to a vote, but cutting the alcohol consumption within any population is a positive step forward. Failing that however, making 12 step programs like AA available and easily accessible should be part of any state and/or local crime prevention budget. These types of programs should also be required, along with the standard punishment, for any person convicted of a crime while under the influence.


This is good news! I like this article because it proves that treating groups of people who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction can help in the society. For this matter, the decrease in the rate of murder cases can be attributed to the good objectives and doings of AA such as an alcoholism intervention. --Karen
URL: http://www.druginterventions.net
Posted by: 3/9/2007 1:34:02 AM

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