This chapter explores the extent to which the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol is associated with offending behaviour and the nature of that association. The answers to those questions are more complex than might at first appear and are used to suggest some practice implications for those working with substance misuse in a criminal justice context. Both alcohol and drug misuse are dynamic risk factors for offending behaviour, included as part of a holistic assessment of risk. For those offenders where substance misuse is indicated, this risk assessment may be supplemented by specialist assessments focusing on the substance misuse in more detail. This chapter also considers the social context of alcohol and drug use and their complex relationships with crime. It discusses what is known about effective interventions, with a particular focus on responsivity and the motivation to change. The chapter seeks to help practitioners clarify the complex relationship between substance use and offending behaviour and the implications for responsivity.
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