Evidence-Based Practice in Criminal Justice Settings

A Biological/Genetic Perspective: The Addicted Brain
  • William M. Heffron
  • Shanna Babalonis
  • Michele Staton-Tindall
  • Lori Molenaar
  • Karen M. Lommel
  • Alessandra N. Kazura
  • Katie House
  • Catherine A. Martin
Part of the Issues in Children's and Families' Lives book series (IICL, volume 11)


The role of substance use and fetal exposure to substances of abuse is reviewed from the viewpoint of what role it may play in current or future criminal behavior. Fetal exposure to Alcohol, Nicotine and Marijuana does have long term consequences in terms of problems with learning, planning and analyzing situations. These effects can lead to impaired school performance and increased impulsivity in the classroom. Having problems in school is a risk factor for later delinquent behavior. There is some association with later criminal behavior in youth with fetal Nicotine exposure. Current use of Alcohol, Cannabis, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Opiates and high levels of Caffeine is associated with increased criminal and violent behavior. Appropriate screening, assessment of prenatal substance abuse exposure and adolescent substance abuse is recommended in order to minimize delinquent behavior.


Alcohol Cannabis Marijuana Cocaine Methamphetamine Opiates Inhalants Caffeine Nicotine Stimulants Dopamine GABA Fetal Exposure Substance Abuse Delinquency Criminal Behavior Violence Risk Factors Screening Assessment Treatment Reclaiming Futures 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • William M. Heffron
    • 1
  • Shanna Babalonis
    • 2
  • Michele Staton-Tindall
    • 3
  • Lori Molenaar
    • 4
    • 5
  • Karen M. Lommel
    • 6
  • Alessandra N. Kazura
    • 7
  • Katie House
    • 8
  • Catherine A. Martin
    • 9
  1. 1.Mental Health ServicesFrankfortUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral ScienceCollege of Medicine, University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.College of Social Work, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  5. 5.University Health ServiceLexingtonUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  7. 7.Center for Tobacco Independence Maine HealthPortlandUSA
  8. 8.Psychiatry Research Center, University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  9. 9.Department of PsychiatryCollege of Medicin, University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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