1.1     Background to the Study

Use of illicit drugs is a topic of frequent interest to the Pioneer and Guide newspapers and some aspect of the reporting are a cause for concern, with frequent examples of exaggerated and inaccurate coverage. We explore the influence of press coverage or newspaper coverage on policy about illicit drugs. It is with utmost concern that the reporting of stories relating to drugs by newspaper or press can introduce exaggerations and inaccuracies that create unnecessary pressure on policy makers to quickly take particular policy decisions, on the basis of insufficient evidence. In speaking about the drug-crime nexus, Inciardi et al (as cited in Baron, 1999) argue that the drug and crime relationship in interactive. Crime, they point out finances the use of drug. Continuous usage of drugs encourages more use of drugs and more use of drugs encourages more crime.

According to the literature on the drug-crime like, there is an association between the use of drugs and getting involved in criminal activities. Some social conditions seem applicable to cause both drug use and crime, and many young offenders commit a wide variety of crimes which include drug use. However, drug abuse itself does not sufficiently explain criminal behaviour (Ramsay and Percy, 1996, Parker, 1996, Ekpenyong, 1989). For instance Clinard and Meier (1995) state that substance abuse involves violation of norms surrounding the use of alcohol and other drugs, whereas crime involves violation of legal norms of legislature and other government agencies. Illegal drugs use is “almost automatically” (Brochu, 1995) associated with criminal behaviour. The statistical relationship between illegal drug use and crime is convincing at first glance, but it is not possible to draw a conclusion regarding a definite cause and effect link between the two phenomena. The suggestion that drug lead to crime ignores the impact living condition can have on an individual and takes no account, according to Serge Brochu an expert in this field of a body of data showing that most illegal drug users in Canada and elsewhere will never be regular user. It bears repairing that drug use is still, for the most part, a sporadic recreational, exploratory activity. Most people are able to manage their drug use without difficulty. Very few will become regular user and even fewer will develop drug addiction.

  1. K. Alexander (1990) states that the studies of the link between drugs use and crime are currently going through a paradigmatic crisis. He translated it that the problem stem from three element;
  2. The limit of current knowledge
  3. Practice that does not respect your expertise
  4. Mislabeling of users.

Contemporary conceptual models are not based on a cohesive empirical body (e.g. our unrepresentative samples usually comprise drug user heavily involved in crime and very few regular users who hold important position in society, even though they do exist, we then make broad generalization based on those studies). It is also extremely difficult to incorporate knowledge that confect without deeply held belief (e.g. the prospect of careful or controlled use of illegal psychoactive substance). Finally, we continue to apply negative labels to illegal drug users who in the end would rather be known as drug addicts than criminal.

  1. Brochu (1997) claim that alter side the scientific studies conducted over the past two decades provides evidence which tend to show that drug use is one of a number of factors that may explain why some people commit criminal act. For example, many people who have developed an addiction to expensive drugs such as heroin and crack/cocaine and cannot afford their habit will commit crime to buy drugs. However, they do not represent all or even most illegal drug users, especially in the case of marijuana users. In other words, illegal drugs use does not necessarily lead to increase in crime even among people who are regular users or have developed on addiction. The research shows that a number of social psychological and cultural factors can be used to identify people who are at risk of becoming delinquent and/or drug users.

Factors that may explain both drugs use and criminal activity include poverty, lack of social value, personality disorder, association with drug users, and/or delinquent, and loss of contact with agent of socialization. S. Brochu (1997) states that however, human behaviour cannot be reduced to a set of risk factor. In other words, the more presence of risk factors does not necessarily put a person on a path toward drug use and crime. In Brochu’s view, it is important to give the individual his or her rightful place in drug crime equation and to recognize the significance of his or her life. For they are indicator that it is wrong to think that eliminating drugs from a person’s day to day life definitely put an end to criminal activity. This realization is important in terms of intervention and policy development, because any explanation of crime which attributes a high importance to drug may lead to the implementation of ineffective intervention policies. D. N Nurco et al (1990) claim that although today, that the exact nature of the link between drugs and crime remain uncertain, that the scientific literature shows that the drugs-crime connection is much more complex that originally believed.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The reporting of stories relating to drug and crime by newspapers or press introduces exaggeration and inaccuracies that create unnecessary pressure on policy makers. In this perspective, micro factors are those that are learned in the process of interaction. Social deviation and criminality are learned through pressure, family members on the street, at school, contact with criminal justice agents, mass media, individual frustration etc. in this context, micro factor signify factors that predispose people to social deviation and criminality which are structural such as social disorganization, weak social control, a host of social problem caused by social control, population heterogeneity, environmental factors, inequality, unemployment, poverty, broken homes etc. There are crime/offences motivated by the need of money or goods to buy drugs. In order words, crime committed by drug abusers examples of such crime could include theft of different kinds, snatching, robbery, kidnapping and handling of stolen goods etc. Although, many studies indicate that some people use illegal drugs the day they committed their crime, there is little empirical evidence in the scientific literature to establish a direct link between crime violence and the psychopharmacological effect as a result of drugs abuse. However, it is an indisputable fact that based on assumption that most of the crime committed are always attributed or associated to the use of drugs.

This study is to analyze the relationship or the link between drugs use and crime as ascertained from press or newspaper coverage as it has been understood that many inmate attribute responsibility for their criminal behaviour to outside cause, i.e. “drug”.



1.3     Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of the study:

  1. To assess the extent and content of newspaper and magazines coverage passive drugs.
  2. To design content analysis of newspaper and magazine articles.
  3. To find out the trends in the newspaper and magazine coverage of Pioneer and Guide.
  4. To critically analyze the media content of both issues on Pioneer and Guides newspaper coverage on drug, their involvement in crime and control measures.

1.4     Research Questions

The study formulated the following research questions.

  1. What are those things that make people to get involved in drugs and criminal activities?
  2. Is it everybody who is drugs abuser that also get involves in criminal case?