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According to "Violence and Drug Abuse," a 1995 publication by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 50 percent of violent crimes can be attributed to alcohol abuse. Some 30 percent of these violent crimes are homicides. Alcohol increases aggressiveness and decreases inhibitions, an explosive combination that can lead to violence. Cocaine and methamphetamines also have the reputation of generating feelings of aggression and hostility. Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports show that less than 5 percent of all homicides are related to drugs other than alcohol.

A major issue in teen homicide is the accessibility of firearms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention firearms were the instrument of death in over 80 percent of teen homicides in 2004. "The Future of Children," a publication of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University, reports that roughly one in four teen deaths results from firearm injuries, while only one in 760 teen deaths results from non-firearm injuries. With access to firearms, a teen's momentary anger or carelessness can end in tragedy. Under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, the chances of this happening increase. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2005 juveniles committed 10.9 percent of all homicides, but accounted for 11.9 percent of gun homicides.

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