- Substance misuse and substance use disorders in sex offenders: a review
- Clinical Psychology Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 31 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Substance abuse has often been associated with committing sex offenses. In this article, the following will be reviewed: 1) studies that assessed substance abuse in sex offenders; 2) differences in substance abuse among different types of sex offenders; 3) differences in substance abuse between sex offenders and nonsexual offenders and substance abuse in the normal population; 4) sex offenders’ intoxication at the time of the offense; and 5) differences in intoxication at the time of the offense among different types of sex offenders. Studies will be discussed according to the method they used to assess substance abuse, i.e., file research, screening instruments or semi-structured interviews. This review shows that about half of the sex offenders has a history of substance abuse, a quarter to half of the sex offenders has a history of alcohol misuse and that about one fifth to a quarter of the sex offenders has a history of drug misuse. Furthermore, about a quarter to half of the sex offenders appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the offense. The review results in recommendations for future research. Because of the high prevalence of substance abuse in sex offenders it is advisable to routinely screen for substance abuse and, if necessary, to treat substance abuse.
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