Background/Aims/Method: 214 drug addicts were included in a 25-year study on criminality using data from the National Register of Convictions, and 84% of those still living in Oslo attended a follow-up examination. Results: 89% of the 214 had committed offences, compared to 25% in a control group without drug use. 83% had been imprisoned. Males showed more criminal behavior than females and committed the most serious crimes. Male gender and more than two convictions were risk factors for reduced survival. At the follow-up examination 65% had abandoned illegal drugs and the majority had simultaneously stopped their criminal activities. There were significantly less drug offenders, thieves and people committing fraud or violations of traffic laws among the former drug addicts, but not less violent criminals. Criminality diminished with increasing age. Conclusions: Drug addicts were heavily involved in criminal affairs. Abandonment of illegal drugs and increasing age were associated with discontinuation of criminality.

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