Homicide Rates Hit 25-year High; These Are Some Biological Factors Behind It

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Violence in the United States has been increasing.

The country is now seeing a return to the violence-ridden landscapes of the ’90s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 violent crimes data revealed that homicide rates are skyrocketing and are at the highest rate in more than 25 years, increasing by at least 20 to 25 percent per state.

2022 does not seem to bode well for Americans either. Violence is spilling into the younger generations, with teenagers and young adults becoming perpetrators to the year’s most horrific mass shootings so far.

Violence-rampant areas are also seeing increased rates of violence while spreading into new areas that have normally had lower rates of violent crimes.

Though two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have likely contributed to the growing social unrest, the widespread violent crimes that are appearing in the United States like a growing infection require a closer evaluation to identify if there are other causes which the pandemic may have exacerbated.

In this article, we aim to address some of the underlying health and biological factors that can lead to mood disorders and aggression, and attempt to explain the rising social agitation we are seeing at the population level.


Drugs change our brain chemistry and can have far-reaching effects on our mental and physical health. Most drugs affect our mood and are implicated in mood disorders and aggression. Some drug users become violent in the process of getting drugs, and for others, aggression is a side effect of drug use.

Substance abuse is undoubtedly implicated in violence and violent crime. A 2007 survey (pdf) found that 26 percent of victims of violence reported that their perpetrator were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drug use was exacerbated during the COVID-19 lockdowns, with psychologists reporting increased incidence of substance abuse disorders among their patients.

  • Alcohol

It is well known that alcohol, consumed in large quantities, is damaging to the brain.

By Health 1+1 and Marina Zhang

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