When people who use meth can’t afford the drug, they often commit crimes—from petty theft to robbery, even murder—to obtain cash for their habit. They’ll do anything to get their next fix. Meth use itself increases a tendency to crime because it leads to a willingness to take risks, paranoid thinking, and violent behavior. Between 50 and 70 percent of property crimes—burglary, shoplifting, motor vehicle theft, arson, and vandalism—are committed by people who use meth.
Meth-related crimes can also be violent. A recent study showed that more than 50 percent of 350 respondents in one California county who received treatment for meth addiction reported that their meth use led to violent criminal behavior. Most often that behavior was trying to beat up someone, rob someone, or threaten them with a weapon.