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Predatory Crime Causation and Substance Abuse Problems

The “Here and Now” Approach Merits

Different approaches to analyzing predatory crime causation allow comparing the methods of assessing offenses about the motives that drive criminals. When comparing the “here and now” approach postulated by the Routine Activities theorists with conventional background criminological concepts, one should take into account the complex nature of crimes. Offenses can be interpreted from different perspectives: location, severity, number of persons involved, and other criteria. In this case, supporters of the Routine Activities model agree that deviant behavior cannot be discussed as a single and static factor. According to Osgood et al. (2016), the merit of the “here and now” approach promoted by the Routine Activities theorists is an opportunity to assess the current motives and draw appropriate conclusions based on specific crime drivers. As a result, value judgments are not general and are based on objective analyses but not superficial judgments that may lead to mistakes.

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Conventional background criminological theorists also put forward useful concepts that explain predatory crime causation. Biological, social, and other concepts make it possible to describe some specific factors that are stimuli for deviant behavior, for instance, an unfavorable environment, genetic predisposition, or mental disorders that criminals have. However, each crime is individual, and an assessment from a general perspective may be associated with bias on the part of criminologists. In this regard, the “hear and now” approach is a more convenient and, at the same time, a fair method for analyzing predatory crime causation due to the unbiased evaluation of motives and circumstances.

Biosocial Theories and Substance Abuse Problems

Substance abuse problems, as the causes of deviant behavior, are a subject of study in biosocial criminological theories. Since these concepts imply performing analyses based on the study of crimes from the standpoint of offenders’ characteristics, they help assess specific motives accurately. The aspects of personal development and potential deviations that a human has either since birth or as acquired traits are valuable factors that contribute to obtaining a detailed picture. For instance, a genetic predisposition to excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor that can be addressed through the timely development of prevention and treatment programs. The analysis of the environment in which an individual is brought up and acquires the skills of social adaptation also allows assessing the likelihood of developing deviant behavior. As a result, biosocial theories contribute to not only interpreting the reasons for substance abuse but also to provide the necessary assistance.

In the criminal justice system, addiction is treated as a crime rather than a disease because a person who misuses substances does this on purpose. The deliberate use of alcohol, drugs, or other psychotropic substances is regarded as a voluntary mental change. In this state, a person loses the ability to think and reason adequately. Moreover, the severity of a crime is compounded by this factor since an altered state of the psyche is a potentially dangerous stimulus that can lead to severe consequences. Thus, addiction is considered an intentional step of deliberate deviation and, therefore, has the status of a crime.


Osgood, W. D., Wilson, J. K., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Johnston, L. D. (2016). Routine activities and individual deviant behavior. In M. Natarajan (Ed.), Crime opportunity theories: Routine activity, rational choice and their variants. Routledge.

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