Drug Use Estimates

81. Impact of Decriminalization

"The information we have presented adds to the current literature on the impacts of decriminalization. It disconfirms the hypothesis that decriminalization necessarily leads to increases in the most harmful forms of drug use. While small increases in drug use were reported by Portuguese adults, the regional context of this trend suggests that they were not produced solely by the 2001 decriminalization. We would argue that they are less important than the major reductions seen in opiate-related deaths and infections, as well as reductions in young people’s drug use. The Portuguese evidence suggests that combining the removal of criminal penalties with the use of alternative therapeutic responses to dependent drug users offers several advantages. It can reduce the burden of drug law enforcement on the criminal justice system, while also reducing problematic drug use."

Hughes, Caitlin Elizabeth and Stevens, Alex, "What can we learn from the Portugese decriminalization of drugs?" British Journal of Criminology (London, United Kingdom: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, November 2010), Vol. 50, Issue 6, p. 1018.
http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/...

82. Marijuana Decriminalization and Substitution Effects

"In conclusion, our results suggest that participation in the use of both licit and illicit drugs is price sensitive. Participation is sensitive to own prices and the price of the other drugs. In
particular, we conclude that cannabis and cigarettes are complements, and there is some evidence to suggest that cannabis and alcohol are
substitutes, although decriminalization of cannabis corresponds with higher alcohol use. Alcohol and cigarettes are found to be complements.
"The results also show that the liberalized legal status of cannabis in South Australia coincides with higher cannabis participation on average over the period under investigation. In South Australia, where possession of small amounts of cannabis is no longer a criminal offence, the probability of use is estimated to be 2.0 percentage points higher than elsewhere based on the pooled sample of data. Further investigation revealed that although participation increased in South Australia shortly after the liberalization of the cannabis laws, the effect of decriminalization was transitory and had disappeared in seven years. In addition, our results indicate that the increase in participation was due to individuals over 30 delaying giving up cannabis use as a result of its changed legal status, not an increase in use
by younger people. This finding provides an explanation of why US studies based on youth fail to find that decriminalization has an impact on
the probability of cannabis use, while studies based on adults and youth, or just adults, do find a positive association between decriminalization and participation in cannabis use."

Cameron, Lisa & Williams, Jenny, "Cannabis, Alcohol and Cigarettes: Substitutes or Complements?" The Economic Record (Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia: The Economic Society of Australia, March 2001), p. 32.
http://cms.sem.tsinghua.edu.cn...

83. Occupational Injury

"We conclude that there is an association between substance use and occupational injury. This association is stronger for males and in certain industries, such as manufacturing and construction, and may also be stronger for younger workers, though future research is needed on this last point. The proportion of injuries caused by substance use, however, is relatively small. Instead, there is mounting evidence that harmful substance use is one of a constellation of behaviors exhibited by certain individuals who may avoid work-related safety precautions and take greater work-related risks. Thus, we suspect that it is more likely that risk-taking dispositions, often termed deviance proneness, and other omitted factors can explain most empirical associations between substance use and injuries at work."

Ramchand, Rajeev; Pomeroy, Amanda; Arkes, Jeremy, "The Effects of Substance Use on Workplace Injuries" Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2009), p. 31.
http://www.rand.org/content/da...

84. Use in Low Income Areas

"Although residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, neighborhoods with high concentrations of minorities, and neighborhoods with high population densities reported much higher levels of visible drug sales, they reported only slightly higher levels of drug use, along with somewhat higher levels of drug dependency. This finding indicates that conflating drug sales with use, so that poor and minority areas are assumed to be the focus of the problem of drug use, is plainly wrong. The finding is based on the data collected across 41 sites, including city and suburban (but not rural) areas in all regions."

Saxe, Leonard, PhD, Charles Kadushin, PhD, Andrew Beveridge, PhD, et al., "The Visibility of Illicit Drugs: Implications for Community-Based Drug Control Strategies," American Journal of Public Health (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, Dec. 2001), Vol. 91, No. 12, p. 1991.
http://ajph.aphapublications.o...

85. Income and Relationship Status

"Legal and illegal use of drugs was most strongly associated with age, sex, and income. Higher income was associated with a greater likelihood of drug use for all drug types examined, which is perhaps not surprising given that drug use requires disposable income. Relationship status was linked to illegal (but not legal) drug use: both cocaine and cannabis use were more likely among persons who had never been married or previously been married."

Degenhardt, Louisa; Chiu, Wai-Tat; Sampson, Nancy; Kessler, Ronald C.; Anthony, James C.; Angermeyer, Matthias; Bruffaerts, Ronny; Girolamo, Giovanni de; Gureje, Oye; Huang, Yueqin; Karam, Aimee; Kostyuchenko, Stanislav; Lepine, Jean Pierre; Mora, Maria Elena Medina; Neumark, Yehuda; Ormel, J. Hans; Pinto-Meza, Alejandra; Posada-Villa, Jose´; Stein, Dan J.; Takeshima, Tadashi; Wells, J. Elisabeth, "Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys," Plos Medicine (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Public Library of Science, July 2008) Vol. 5, Issue 7, p. 1062.
http://www.plosmedicine.org...

86. Disadvantaged Areas

"Although serious drug use is slightly more prevalent in poor minority neighborhoods than elsewhere, the major problem for disadvantaged neighborhoods is drug distribution. These communities are victims not only of their own drug abuse but also of a criminal drug market that serves the entire society. The market establishes itself in disadvantaged communities in part because of the low social capital in these neighborhoods. The drug economy further erodes that social capital."

Saxe, Leonard, PhD, Charles Kadushin, PhD, Andrew Beveridge, PhD, et al., "The Visibility of Illicit Drugs: Implications for Community-Based Drug Control Strategies," American Journal of Public Health (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, Dec. 2001), Vol. 91, No. 12, p. 1992.
http://ajph.aphapublications.o...

87. Punitive Drug Control Policies Have Limited Effects

"The use of drugs seems to be a feature of more affluent countries. The US, which has been driving much of the world’s drug research and drug policy agenda, stands out with higher levels of use of alcohol, cocaine, and cannabis, despite punitive illegal drug policies, as well as (in many US states), a higher minimum legal alcohol drinking age than many comparable developed countries. The Netherlands, with a less criminally punitive approach to cannabis use than the US, has experienced lower levels of use, particularly among younger adults. Clearly, by itself, a punitive policy towards possession and use accounts for limited variation in nation level rates of illegal drug use."

Degenhardt, Louisa; Chiu, Wai-Tat; Sampson, Nancy; Kessler; Ronald C.; Anthon, James C.; Angermeyer, Matthias; Bruffaerts, Ronny; Girolamo, de Giovanni ; Gureje, Oye; Huang, Yueqin; Karam, Aimee; Kostyuchenko, Stanislav; Lepine, Jean Pierre; Mora, Maria Elena Medina; Neumark, Yehuda; Ormel, J. Hans; Pinto-Meza, Alejandra; Posada-Villa, Jose; Stein, Dan J.; Takeshima, Tadashi; Wells, J. Elisabeth, "Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys," PLoS Medicine (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Public Library of Science, July 2008) Vol. 5, Issue 7, p. 1062.
http://www.plosmedicine.org...

88. Stigmatization

"Because the impacts of problem drug users are largely hidden, and also because their number is actually relatively small (approximately 330,000; Hay et al., 2008),22 people’s understanding of problem drug use tends to come from remote sources – the media (including the internet, television, films, magazines and books) and anecdote – rather than from direct experience. This provides fertile ground for the growth of myths and stereotypes: for example, the prevalent belief in instant addiction and the myth of the drug dealer offering free drugs at the school gates."

Lloyd, Charlie, "Sinning and Sinned Against: The Stigmatisation of Problem Drug Users," (London, United Kingdom: UK Drug Policy Commission, August 2010)p. 49.
http://www.ukdpc.org.uk/public...

89. Sewage Testing

"Some scientists have recently turned to the sewer to develop a more accurate estimate of drug use. They examine tiny samples of raw sewage for the presence of illicit drugs and their metabolites in a science known as sewer epidemiology.4 These samples are essentially a diluted urine test collected from an entire community,5 making them akin to a “community urinalysis.”6 The basic science is simple: nearly every drug ingested into the body is eventually excreted and finds its way into the sewer system, allowing scientists to profile a community’s drug use based on objective data."

Hering, Christopher L., "Flushing the Fourth Amendment Down the Toilet: How Community Urinalysis Threatens Individual Liberty," Arizona Law Review (Tuscon, AZ: The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, 2009) Volume 51, Issue 3, p. 742.
http://www.arizonalawreview.or...

90. Drug Usage - MTF - History of the Monitoring the Future Survey Project

Monitoring the Future Survey

(MTF History) "Monitoring the Future (MTF) is designed to give sustained attention to substance use among the nation’s youth and adults. It is an investigator-initiated study that originated with and is conducted by a team of research professors at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Since its onset in 1975, MTF has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse — one of the National Institutes of Health — under a series of peer-reviewed, competitive research grants. The 2014 survey, reported here, is the 40th consecutive survey of 12th-grade students and the 24th such survey of 8th and 10th graders.
"MTF contains ongoing series of national surveys of both American adolescents and adults. It provides the nation with a vital window into the important but largely hidden problem behaviors of illegal drug use, alcohol abuse, tobacco use, anabolic steroid abuse, and psychotherapeutic drug abuse. For four decades MTF has helped provide a clearer view of the changing topography of these problems among adolescents and adults, a better understanding of the dynamics of factors that drive some of these problems, and a better understanding of some of their consequences. It has also given policymakers, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the field some practical approaches for intervening."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (June 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on
drug use, 1975–2014: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 1.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

Pages