California has seen more than its share of violent crimes in recent years. Many of these have involved illegal drugs and guns. Mental health and safety experts have recently conducted studies that show that these issues are intimately connected. Treating substance abuse as a mental health issue may also help to reduce the amount of violent crimes involving guns.
How do drugs and guns influence violence?
This is not to say that all people with mental health issues are either addicted to illegal drugs or prone to violent outbursts. Violent crimes can certainly be committed without the involvement of either drugs or guns. However, many experts have shown a clear link between the use of illegal substances and an increase in gun violence.
The first incidents of violent gun crime in a neighborhood may begin with the actions of drug dealers. They may war among themselves in order to establish primacy in these areas. As they do so, they may inadvertently cause the deaths of innocent bystanders. Many people in these areas may arm themselves in order to avoid being directly or indirectly victimized.
Treatment of mental issues can reduce violence
Violent crimes in California are presently at an historic high. Many health experts believe that treatment for substance abuse issues is the best way to reduce the level of gun violence. They point to recent studies that show over 68% of drug related murders were committed with the use of guns.
It has also been shown that over 25% of adults who were diagnosed with a mental health issue also struggle with substance abuse. If only a few of these people also own guns, the stage may be set for a violent incident. The link between guns, drugs, and violence is therefore well worth exploring.