Criminal opportunity and its relation to crime has been the focus of criminological research over the past several decades; other studies have shown that substance abuse also influences crime. However, limited attention has been paid to how substance abuse increases criminal opportunity especially in rural communities and among college populations. Drawing on theoretical discussion, the researcher conducted a qualitative study by examining the behavioral characteristics of substance abuse amongst college-aged students in Hays, Kansas, a rural college town in Northwest Kansas. Hays has a neighborhood close to the Fort Hays State University (FHSU) campus that is highly populated with college students and yields the highest crime rates. This area is perceived by the public as having frequent incidents of substance abuse responsible for crime. The student population in this area was studied to determine behaviors indicative of substance abuse and how criminal opportunity relates to these behaviors. Systematic qualitative observations were used to collect data for this study.
Vajnar, Conrad; Qi, Ziwei; and Steele, Morgan, "A Qualitative Study of High Substance Abuse Neighborhood in a Rural College Town" (2020). 2020 SACAD Entrants. 86.