Fifty male, adolescent, assaultive offenders incarcerated in California were compared for drug use and criminal behavior with 80 nonassaultive offenders of similar background by utilizing semistructured interviews and a review of official records.
In 36 of the 56 assaults resulting in tissue damage, the assailant described himself as under the influence of a drug at the time of the offense. Alcohol or secobarbital, alone or in combination with other drugs, were reported in 31 of the 36 drug-related assaults including seven assaults that resulted in the death of the victim. Marihuana used alone or with other drugs was associated with six assaults; amphetamine was linked with two offenses.
The study subjects overwhelmingly selected secobarbital as the drug most likely to enhance assaultive tendencies.