Criminology Drug Control
by
  • LAST REVIEWED: 22 February 2018
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 July 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0129

Introduction

A number of psychoactive substances such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines have been defined as illegal by the vast majority of countries around the world. As such, they are subject to a varying degree of legal control. Yet, defining drug control solely in legal terms would miss the vast amount of programs and individuals outside of law enforcement working to reduce drug use and drug harms, such as clinicians, street outreach workers, and schoolteachers. The actual programs to consider may thus take many forms, just as many forms as the diversity of markets and participants subject to these controls. Pure strategies of drug law enforcement that focus on drug suppliers need to be considered alongside harm reduction, drug use treatment, or school-based prevention programs. Drug control refers to the full array of interventions aimed at reducing the size of illegal drug markets, and the harms caused by illegal drugs. Whether any of the actual interventions falling under the umbrella of drug control succeed in doing so is another question entirely, one that should be subject to empirical research and evaluation. Illegal drugs, like any (legal) consumption products, are sold in “markets.” The illegal context, however, has unique consequences on market structure and behavior that need to be taken into account both by researchers and drug control agents. An important aspect of drugs being sold in markets is the presence of demand for drugs that may not be affected by interventions aimed strictly at suppliers. This situation may indirectly stimulate a replacement process for drugs and suppliers that are removed from a given market. The lack of an immediate victim (i.e., a victim in the sense understood for predatory crimes) creates a situation in which law enforcement agencies have considerable discretion in enforcing drug laws, making drug control an especially important area for research in criminology. Drug enforcement should not be viewed and researched separately from drug markets and their participants. Both the police and drug market participants adapt their strategies to the other—the police in designing interventions that are effectively modeled on actual drug market patterns and behaviors, and drug market participants in anticipating and avoiding those interventions through counterdeterrence measures. In the face of the relative failure of pure law enforcement strategies to reduce the harms associated with (certain) illegal drugs, harm reduction programs and alternatives to prohibition need to be considered seriously.

General Overviews

One of the best overview of the drug control literature has been conducted in MacCoun and Reuter 2001, which goes through the whole spectrum of ideological views and theories of drug control, focused as much on the demand as on the supply side. The more recent Babor, et al. 2010 provides an even more exhaustive review of policy options available and what we know about their effectiveness. Musto 1999 is a well-known classic of the genre, focusing on the history of the drug control and drug epidemics, while Zimring and Hawkins 1995 provides a clear and concise idea of the drug control debate. Kleiman 1992, a detailed book on drug policy, gives recommendations that are sensitive to variations in drug-related harms. Taking stock of two decades of research evaluation of drug law enforcement, Mazerolle, et al. 2007 is a systematic review that provides a guide both to researchers and practitioners trying to make sense of what works. Finally, Caulkins 2000 is a useful guide for current and future drug market researchers, focused as much on describing the type of data that are available and their limitations as on the type of informative quantitative analyses that may be derived from them.

  • Babor, Thomas F., Jonathan Caulkins, Griffith Edwards, et al. 2010. Drug policy and the public good. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    An excellent, extensive review of the drug policy and drug control literature, examining the effectiveness of several policy options. The authors conclude that few of the demonstrated effective policy options are actually used by governments. The place to start to take an up-to-date overview of the field, where it has been, and where it should go.

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    • Caulkins, Jonathan P. 2000. Measurement and analysis of drug problems and drug control efforts. In Criminal justice. Vol. 4, Measurement and analysis of crime and justice. Edited by National Institute of Justice, 391–449. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice.

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      An overview of the quantitative data and methods available for research on drug issues, with discussions of limitations. A good starting point for any new researcher to the field.

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      • Kleiman, Mark A. R. 1992. Against excess: Drug policy for results. New York: Basic Books.

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        Provides a blueprint for concrete drug control actions that increases access to treatment and controls while relying less on pure policing tools such as arrests. Policy recommendations distinguish marijuana from other drugs.

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        • MacCoun, Robert J., and Peter Reuter. 2001. Drug war heresies: Learning from other vices, times, and places. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511754272Save Citation »Export Citation »

          This book is meant to inform American drug policy by examining the whole spectrum of existing drug control theories and policies, demand and supply side included. The authors analyze original and secondary data, starting from the United States but moving toward other countries. The authors provide guidelines to analyze the harms caused by different drugs and policies.

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          • Mazerolle, Lorraine, David W. Soole, and Sacha Rombouts. 2007. Drug law enforcement: A review of the evaluation literature. Police Quarterly 10.2: 115–153.

            DOI: 10.1177/1098611106287776Save Citation »Export Citation »

            A review of what works in drug law enforcement, organized in five categories: international/national interventions, reactive/directed interventions, proactive/partnership interventions, individualized interventions, and interventions that use a combination of reactive/directed and proactive/partnership strategies. Proactive interventions involving partnerships between the police and third parties are found to be the most effective. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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            • Musto, David F. 1999. The American disease: Origins of narcotic control. 3d ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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              A classic historical analysis of drug policy and drug epidemics in the United States, the third edition discusses contemporary drug policy.

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              • Zimring, Franklin E., and Gordon Hawkins. 1995. The search for rational drug control. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                A look at the drug policy process and the national drug control strategy in the United States, with critiques and recommendations in the final chapter.

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                Drug Markets

                Drug control may not be fully understood without an examination of the markets in which drugs are sold or of their participants. This process of examination starts by analyzing the scale of the problem. Measuring the size of illegal drug markets is a challenging endeavor, and nowhere has it been more fully developed at a global level than in Reuter and Trautmann 2009, where several experts collected their efforts to provide the most accurate portrait of what is known and still unknown in this area. The sheer size of illegal drug markets may explain, in part, why drug law enforcement has not succeeded in stopping drugs from being produced on the small or large scale, imported by consuming countries, distributed at the wholesale and middle-market levels, and sold to users at the retail level. Bouchard 2007 proposes a conceptual framework to understand why that is the case and identifies where opportunities for making an impact are greatest. One reason why drug markets are resilient, it is argued, relates to the small size of drug organizations found in those markets—itself a consequence of illegality. This point has been most eloquently demonstrated in Reuter 1985, drawing from industrial economics, and in Paoli, et al. 2009, a contemporary update in the context of the global heroin trade. Studying drug markets brings together researchers form a variety of disciplines, each with his or her own analytical techniques and angles of attack. This interdisciplinary nature is something that needs to be understood by any student or new researcher—a particularity of the field that is covered in Ritter 2005. As far as the structure or dynamics of markets are concerned, Natarajan and Hough 2000 contains a variety of solid contributions both from North American and European researchers. Finally, Rengert 1996 provides a solid introduction to the spatial aspects characterizing drug markets, reminding us that those markets are often strategically located, and that such locations matter both from a drug control and drug user perspective.

                • Bouchard, Martin. 2007. On the resilience of illegal drug markets. Global Crime 8.4: 325–344.

                  DOI: 10.1080/17440570701739702Save Citation »Export Citation »

                  Adapts the conceptual framework of resilience to analyze the capacity of illegal drug markets to sustain despite law enforcement interventions. Develops a typology of drug markets based on their (1) vulnerability to shocks, (2) elasticity, and (3) capacity to adapt. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                  • Natarajan, Mangai, and Mike Hough, eds. 2000. Illegal drug markets: From research to prevention policy. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.

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                    An edited volume containing empirical contributions from several widely respected drug market researchers around the world. The volume proposes analyses of drug market structure and drug market typologies, as well as specific case studies of the interplay between local drug markets and drug policies.

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                    • Paoli, Letizia, Victoria A. Greenfield, and Peter Reuter. 2009. The world heroin market: Can supply be cut? New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                      DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195322996.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »

                      A detailed look at the past and current heroin market globally, with specific analyses of interdiction measures, such as the opium ban in Afghanistan, and the elimination of opium production in Thailand, followed by the expansion of production in Burma. The authors propose a model to understand the dynamics of the heroin trade, based on variations in levels of illegality, which is itself tied to the relative strength of a state’s government.

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                      • Rengert, George F. 1996. The geography of illegal drugs. Boulder, CO: Westview.

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                        The classic reference for a spatial approach to understanding the structure of drug markets, both at the wholesale and retail levels. Draws from a varied set of data to study the distribution of drugs in various US cities, with a focus on New York and Philadelphia for finer analyses. Contains a typology of drug market locations, based on the profitability of specific locations and how much customers are willing to travel.

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                        • Reuter, Peter. 1985. The organization of illegal markets: An economic analysis. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

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                          A must-read economic analysis of the organization of illegal markets, in which some of the principles for thinking about drug markets were first laid out. Comparisons with the legal markets provided help readers understand where standard economic tools succeed or fail in shedding light on the dynamics of illegal markets.

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                          • Reuter, P., and F. Trautmann, eds. 2009. A report on global illicit drug markets 1998–2007. Brussels: European Commission.

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                            A 630-page report documenting the most-recent trends in drug markets around the world, the size of markets, the costs associated with drug use, and the methodological challenges of analyzing drug-related data. For the period under study, drug problems generally worsened in developing countries and slightly improved in industrial countries. A panel of international experts helped prepare detailed country reports for eighteen countries for which the latest data on drug use, drug selling, drug prices, and drug production, among other things, are provided. Key findings from the report are available online.

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                            • Ritter, Alison. 2005. A review of approaches to studying drug markets. Fitzroy, Australia: Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre.

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                              The point of departure of this monograph is the recognition by the author that the multidisciplinary nature of drug market research creates unique challenges in trying to unify the diverse methodological, theoretical, and practical approaches found in the field. The author identifies five sometimes overlapping, yet distinct approaches: (1) ethnographic and qualitative approaches, (2) economic approaches, (3) behavioral and psychological research, (4) population-based and survey research, and (5) criminology and law enforcement evaluation.

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                              Drug Trafficking

                              Assessing the logic and impact of drug control needs to be done in conjunction with a good understanding of how such control affects participants. Many studies of drug traffickers emphasize, among other things, how drug control affects the way they organize their work, describing the arrest avoidance strategies they learn to survive in the drug trade. Adler 1993, a study of drug traffickers in California, is exemplary in many regards and includes an examination of traffickers’ views on drug control and how even successful drug traffickers do not rely on large organizations to thrive. These themes have been tackled in the more recent contributions of Decker and Chapman 2008 in the United States and Desroches 2005 in Canada. Layne, et al. 2001 tackles the issue of deterrence explicitly, with a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses of US-related drug trafficking, whereas Dorn, et al. 1998 emphasizes how the structure of drug-trafficking organizations varied based on their leaders’ perceptions of the relative risks of detection. Morselli and Petit 2007, a longitudinal social-network analysis of the effect of drug seizures on a drug importation network, deserves attention as an innovative investigation that goes (literally) inside the traffickers’ organization to follow their decision making in light of a series of failures that alters the relationships among the participants and their trafficking methods. Some of those real-life adaptations are discussed in Degenhardt, et al. 2005 in the context of the 2001 Australian heroin shortage and are modeled in a different context in Crawford, et al. 1988 in a unique study simulating various drug interdiction scenarios.

                              • Adler, Patricia A. 1993. Wheeling and dealing: An ethnography of an upper-level drug dealing and smuggling community. 2d ed. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                A rare ethnography of wholesale trafficking; provides a detailed examination of careers in the drug trade, with some implications for drug control.

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                                • Crawford, Gordon B., Peter Reuter, Karen Isaacson, and Patrick Murphy. 1988. Simulation of adaptive response: A model of drug interdiction. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.

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                                  Provides different scenarios of drug interdiction and how traffickers may adapt through simulation.

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                                  • Decker, Scott H., and Margaret Townsend Chapman. 2008. Drug smugglers on drug smuggling: Lessons from the inside. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.

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                                    Draws from interviews with thirty-four traffickers to provide a detailed examination of some of the methods traffickers use when smuggling drugs in the United States, with a description of the distribution chain as being formed by a series of otherwise unconnected cells.

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                                    • Degenhardt, Louisa, Peter Reuter, Linette Collins, and Wayne Hall. 2005. Evaluating explanations of the Australian “heroin shortage.” Addiction 100.4: 459–469.

                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01000.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                      A detailed look at the explanations for one of the major supply-related events of the first decade of the 21st century; namely, the Australian heroin drought of 2001. The main conclusion is that drought happened through a series of converging factors that include an increase in risks of importing large heroin shipments to Australia. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                      • Desroches, Frederick J. 2005. The crime that pays: Drug trafficking and organized crime in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press.

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                                        Interviews incarcerated traffickers in Canada; examines their motivations and their views on the costs and benefits of trafficking, as well as some of the high-level investigations that led to their arrest and incarceration.

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                                        • Dorn, Nicholas, Lutz Oette, and Simone White. 1998. Drugs importation and the bifurcation of risk. British Journal of Criminology 38.4: 537–560.

                                          DOI: 10.1093/bjc/38.4.537Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                          Directly asks interviewed traffickers about the risks they identified in planning their importation, how high they estimate the risks to be, and what they did to avoid those risks. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                          • Layne, Mary, Ann M. Bruen, Patrick Johnson, et al. 2001. Measuring the deterrent effect of enforcement operations on drug smuggling, 1991–1999. Washington, DC: Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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                                            Provides both qualitative and quantitative data on trafficking and traffickers, most notably asking traffickers about their smuggling methods and about their perceptions of police strategies and deterrence.

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                                            • Morselli, Carlo, and Katia Petit. 2007. Law-enforcement disruption of a drug importation network. Global Crime 8.2: 109–130.

                                              DOI: 10.1080/17440570701362208Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                              An original, fascinating study that follows a major drug importation network in Canada that sees every one of its drug shipments seized over an extended period of time. The reorganization that follows each failure is captured in the qualitative analysis of wiretapped conversations and through social-network analysis. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                              Drug Production

                                              Drug production has traditionally been an issue of developing, producing countries exporting their products to developed, consuming countries. For cocaine and heroin, little has changed in that respect. However, for the most consumed drug in the world—cannabis—those distinctions are meaningless. Weisheit 1992 was among the first to recognize this unique situation for cannabis and to examine the US cultivation industry in detail. Decorte, et al. 2011, a collective work, provides a recent, international investigation of the import substitution and the role of law enforcement agencies in the transition. Drug control agencies have been forced to respond to the development of the domestic industry. Wilkins, et al. 2002 and Malm and Tita 2006 evaluate some of those responses in New Zealand and in Canada, respectively. Bouchard 2007 proposes a method to evaluate the relative stringency of those law enforcement efforts, through capture-recapture estimates of the size of the industry, both in number of producers and in number of cannabis cultivation sites. The last two studies move toward efforts to reduce heroin and cocaine production in more-traditional producing countries: Thoumi 1995 examines the drug trade and policies affecting Colombia, and Farrell and Thorne 2005 evaluates the opium ban in Afghanistan.

                                              • Bouchard, Martin. 2007. A capture-recapture model to estimate the size of criminal populations and the risks of detection in a marijuana cultivation industry. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 23.3: 221–241.

                                                DOI: 10.1007/s10940-007-9027-1Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                Adapts capture-recapture methodology to estimate the size of the cannabis cultivation industry; estimates risks of being arrested for growers and risks of detection for cultivation sites, based on their size (measured in number of plants grown). Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                • Decorte, Tom, Gary Potter, and Martin Bouchard, eds. 2011. World wide weed: Global trends in cannabis cultivation and its control. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

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                                                  An up-to-date, international look at the development of cannabis cultivation in multiple industrial countries. Covers every aspect of the field, from medical marijuana production and detection methods by the police and avoidance by growers, to the role of organized crime networks and small-time growers in the industry.

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                                                  • Farrell, Graham, and John Thorne. 2005. Where have all the flowers gone? Evaluation of the Taliban crackdown against opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. International Journal of Drug Policy 16.2: 81–91.

                                                    DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2004.07.007Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                    Evaluates the impact of an important event in the history of opium production; namely, the forced 99 percent reduction in cultivation areas in Afghanistan in the years following the enforcement of the opium ban. Alternative explanations to the opium ban to explain the dramatic reduction in production are reviewed and excluded. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                    • Malm, Aili E., and George E. Tita. 2006. A spatial analysis of green teams: A tactical response to marijuana production in British Columbia. Policy Sciences 39.4: 361–377.

                                                      DOI: 10.1007/s11077-006-9029-0Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                      Describes four different types of responses by local law enforcement agencies to cannabis cultivation and whether those responses had a differential impact on the number of cases discovered. According to the authors, focused tactical units called “green teams” were successful in reducing cultivation in settings where it was implemented. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                      • Potter, Gary, Larry Gaines, and Beth Holbrook. 1990. Blowing smoke: An evaluation of marijuana eradication in Kentucky. American Journal of Police 9.1: 97–116.

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                                                        One of the first evaluations of cannabis eradication programs; examines how cannabis growers adapt to eradication efforts.

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                                                        • Thoumi, Francesco. 1995. Political economy and illegal drugs in Colombia. Boulder, CO: Rienner.

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                                                          This book goes far beyond a simple assessment of illegal drug production in Colombia. Instead, it covers the whole array of social, economic, and political changes that occurred in Colombia as a backdrop to the development of the illegal drug trade.

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                                                          • Weisheit, Ralph A. 1992. Domestic marijuana: A neglected industry. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

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                                                            Provides an overview of the US cannabis cultivation industry, interviews convicted cannabis growers, and creates a typology of growers, based on motivations to grow.

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                                                            • Wilkins, Chris, Krishna Bhatta, and Sally Casswell. 2002. The effectiveness of cannabis crop eradication operations in New Zealand. Drug and Alcohol Review 21.4: 369–374.

                                                              DOI: 10.1080/0959523021000023234Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                              Provides a method to estimate the quantity of domestic cannabis production, based on domestic consumption, and estimates seizure rates for cannabis in New Zealand. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                              Drug Prices

                                                              Drug prices are one of the first indicators economists consider when thinking about trends in illegal drug markets. Prices are routinely used in conventional economic theory to understand market behaviors and outcomes, and similar efforts have been made to transfer such logic and analyses to illegal drug markets, taking into account the illegal context. The starting point for understanding drug prices in the context of illegal markets is Reuter and Kleiman 1986, a seminal article that elaborates an analytical framework that would prove to be influential for the field as a whole. The role of risks as a factor influencing price is central to the authors’ framework, something on which Caulkins and Reuter 1998 elaborates, most notably breaking down drug prices into their components. Miron 2003 confirms that illegality makes drug prices higher, but not as high as others have assumed them to be. The predictions on risks and prices offered in Reuter and Kleiman 1986 have sometimes examined directly (Desimone and Farrelly 2003, Yuan and Caulkins 1998), and sometimes indirectly (Farrell, et al. 1996). Caulkins and Reuter 2010 is a recent and important update that clarifies how drug enforcement affects drug prices. Farrell, et al. 1996 is important in providing an international, longitudinal analysis of drug prices that appeared to roughly match the patterns noticed in the United States (Caulkins and Reuter 1998).

                                                              • Caulkins, Jonathan P., and Peter Reuter. 1998. What price data tell us about drug markets. Journal of Drug Issues 28.3: 593–612.

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                                                                The place to start to understand the meaning and utility of drug prices for analyses of illegal drug markets; provides an analysis of price components that accounts for the unusually high drug prices compared to what could be their legal prices.

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                                                                • Caulkins, Jonathan P., and Peter Reuter. 2010. How drug enforcement affects drug prices. Crime and Justice 39.1: 213–271.

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                                                                  A recent update on the relation between drug enforcement and drug prices, taking stock of twenty-five years of research since “Risks and Prices” (Reuter and Kleiman 1986) was published. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                  • Desimone, Jeff, and Matthew C. Farrelly. 2003. Price and enforcement effects on cocaine and marijuana demand. Economic Inquiry 41.1: 98–115.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/ei/41.1.98Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                    One of the few systematic analyses of the effect of prices on demand; shows that adult cocaine and marijuana demand is cocaine price sensitive only and that juvenile demand is not influenced by drug prices. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                    • Farrell, Graham, Kashfia Mansur, and Melissa Tullis. 1996. Cocaine and heroin in Europe, 1983–1993. British Journal of Criminology 36.2: 255–281.

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                                                                      Examines the amount of drugs seized and mean size of seizure per country, along with an analysis of cocaine and heroin prices for eleven years in European countries, showing among other things that the price of both drugs varies in parallel throughout the period analyzed. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                      • Miron, Jeffrey A. 2003. The effect of drug prohibition on drug prices: Evidence from the markets for cocaine and heroin. Review of Economics and Statistics 85.3: 522–530.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1162/003465303322369696Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                        Reanalyzes the pricing of illegal drugs, from production to retail selling, and adds legal comparison products that have not been considered before. Concludes that prices are higher in illegal markets, but not as high as previously believed to be. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                        • Reuter, Peter, and Mark A. R. Kleiman. 1986. Risks and prices: An economic analysis of drug enforcement. Crime and Justice 7:289–340.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/449116Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                          Seminal paper in which the authors propose an original framework to understand the relation between drug enforcement and illegal drug prices. Drawing from data on the cocaine, heroin, and marijuana markets in the United States, the author concludes that drug law enforcement is more likely to have an impact on small markets such as heroin than on large and widespread ones such as marijuana. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                          • Yuan, Yuehong, and Jonathan P. Caulkins. 1998. The effect of variation in high-level domestic drug enforcement on variation in drug prices. Socio-Economic Planning Science 32.4: 265–276.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/S0038-0121(97)00037-2Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                            Draws from US Drug Enforcement Administration data on prices covering the 1981–1992 period; the authors examine whether variations in enforcement levels are associated with variations in drug prices. Finding none, the authors argue that the effect of enforcement on prices may not be observed beyond the initial prohibition effect causing an increase in drug prices. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                            Supply-Side Drug Law Enforcement

                                                                            An array of strategies are available to law enforcement when it comes to drug control, and these articles provide a good introduction to those options. Kleiman and Smith 1990 gives overviews of the strengths and weaknesses of supply-side control strategies. Dorn, et al. 2003 draws from original theoretical and analytical frameworks such as situational crime prevention in proposing an agenda for supply-side interventions. Caulkins and MacCoun 2003 emphasizes some of the limitations of supply control, by focusing on how drug market participants are likely to perceive—or misperceive—those interventions.

                                                                            • Caulkins, Jonathan P., and Robert J. MacCoun. 2003. Limited rationality and the limits of supply-related enforcement. Journal of Drug Issues 33.2: 433–464.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/002204260303300208Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                              Takes stock of a decade of evidence showing increasing rates of incarceration of drug offenders and a decrease in drug prices to propose an analysis that aims to understand drug dealers and the decisions they face when deciding on starting or continuing to sell drugs. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                              • Dorn, Nicholas, Tom Bucke, and Chris Goulden. 2003. Traffick, transit, and transaction: A conceptual framework for action against supply. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 42.4: 348–365.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/1468-2311.00291Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                Draws from a review of the literature and interviews with law enforcement personnel to present an original framework to approach interventions against drug markets and organizations, and to measure effectiveness. The framework divides its attention among three areas of concern: (1) vulnerabilities to be found in specific organizations and trafficking networks, (2) vulnerabilities to be found at specific junctures in the drug-trafficking chain, and (3) variations in the economic indicators of the drug trade. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                • Kleiman, Mark A. R., and Kerry D. Smith. 1990. State and local drug enforcement: In search of a strategy. In Special issue: Drugs and crime. Edited by Michael Tonry and Norval Morris. Crime and Justice 13: 69–108.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1086/449173Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                  Written with a concern for policymakers, provides a list of the pros and cons of allocating resources in one strategy or another. Includes a description of six strategies: high-level enforcement, retail-level enforcement, focused crackdowns, suppressing gang activity, controlling user crime, and protecting the youth. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                  Street-Level Drug Law Enforcement

                                                                                  Drug control is as multifaceted as the diversity found in the markets and participants it aims to affect. At the street level, drug dealers sell in typically small quantities to multiple drug users, providing opportunities for law enforcement interventions that may not be available at the less visible wholesale level (Kleiman and Young 1995). Classics in the genre are Moore 1977 and Manning 1980, both of which are must-read introductions to the world of police and drugs, even multiple decades after publication. Both of these works emphasize the interaction between drug control measures and drug offenders’ reactions to these measures, something explored further in Jacobs’s ethnographic work on the arrest-avoidance techniques of crack dealers (Jacobs 1999). Both Curtis and Wendel 2007 and May and Hough 2001 provide analyses of the impact of street-level enforcement on markets of varying structures. Mazerolle, et al. 2006 takes stock of multiple years of evaluations of street-level law enforcement, in a meta-analysis showing the benefits of police-community partnerships in long-term changes in drug markets.

                                                                                  • Curtis, Ric, and Travis Wendel. 2007. You’re always training the dog: Strategic interventions to reconfigure drug markets. Journal of Drug Issues 37.4: 867–892.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/002204260703700407Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                    Provides a qualitative, longitudinal look at drug markets and how they change over time, and shows how drug control may be linked to some of the violence occurring in those markets.

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                                                                                    • Jacobs, Bruce A. 1999. Dealing crack: The social world of streetcorner selling. Boston: Northeastern Univ. Press.

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                                                                                      A must-read ethnographic study of crack selling, and the best work, to date, on arrest-avoidance techniques.

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                                                                                      • Kleiman, Mark A. R., and Rebecca M. Young. 1995. The factors of production in retail drug dealing. Urban Affairs Review 30.5: 730–748.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/107808749503000513Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                        Draws from the concept of factors of production in disentangling every element necessary to make a drug transaction happen. In doing so, provides numerous opportunities for designing creative drug control interventions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                        • Manning, Peter K. 1980. The narcs’ game: Organizational and informational limits on drug law enforcement. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                          A classic ethnographic study of a drug enforcement unit, including a description of the world and culture of narcs, their use of informants, and undercover agents. A deliberate effort is made to find and underline analogies between the world of narcs and the world of drug dealers.

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                                                                                          • May, Tiggey, and Michael Hough. 2001. Illegal dealings: The impact of low-level police enforcement on drug markets. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 9.2: 137–162.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1023/A:1011201112490Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                            A detailed examination of the impact of police interventions on two British markets and how different market structures created different challenges for law enforcement. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                            • Mazerolle, Lorraine, David W. Soole, and Sacha Rombouts. 2006. Street-level drug law enforcement: A meta-analytical review. Journal of Experimental Criminology 2.4: 409–435.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/s11292-006-9017-6Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                              The one and only meta-analysis on the subject; examines every systematic evaluation of drug control initiatives. The results show that partnerships between law enforcement and third parties are key to successful interventions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                              • Moore, Mark Harrison. 1977. Buy and bust: The effective regulation of an illicit market in heroin. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

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                                                                                                Culmination of years of research on the heroin market in New York City and its enforcement; describes a classic method of arresting drug dealers and of building a case for prosecution. It also describes the market itself and the behavioral patterns expected both by the police and drug market participants.

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                                                                                                Crackdowns

                                                                                                Drug market crackdowns are short-term, sudden increases in the intensity of drug law enforcement in a specific setting. Although focused on cracking down on crime in general, Sherman 1990 provides an important introduction to the concept, through a deterrence perspective. Weisburd and Green 1995 is one of the most well-known experimental evaluations of police crackdown, published in a special issue of Justice Quarterly, which contains many other related articles worth consulting. An important issue in evaluating the impact of crackdowns is displacement and diffusion of benefits, something discussed by many (e.g., Caulkins 1992) but not measured systematically. Cohen, et al. 2003 and Wood, et al. 2004 tackle the displacement effect, through different research designs. Caulkins 1993 develops mathematical models of police crackdowns, which help make the planning of crackdowns and their impact more effective. Crackdown evaluations often focus strictly on crime reduction indicators. Maher and Dixon 1999 and Wood, et al. 2004 bring public health concerns to the forefront, illustrating some of the health-related consequences of those crackdowns for drug users.

                                                                                                • Caulkins, Jonathan P. 1992. Thinking about displacement in drug markets: Why observing change of venue isn’t enough. Journal of Drug Issues 22.1: 17–30.

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                                                                                                  An introduction to the concept of displacement in the context of illegal drug markets; distinguishes among types of displacement and provides guidelines on how to measure it.

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                                                                                                  • Caulkins, Jonathan P. 1993. Local drug markets’ response to focused police enforcement. Operations Research 41.5: 848–863.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1287/opre.41.5.848Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                    Introduces a mathematical model to evaluate the impact of a police crackdown, paying attention to potential reactions by market participants. The model has been used by other researchers in the planning of crackdowns in specific settings. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                    • Cohen, Jacqueline, Wilpen Gorr, and Piyusha Singh. 2003. Estimating intervention effects in varying risk settings: Do police raids reduce illegal drug dealing at nuisance bars? Criminology 41.2: 257–292.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2003.tb00988.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                      Evaluates the effectiveness of police raids around bars, through an original research design. Shows that positive effects tend to disappear once the pressure is removed and that bars characterized by high levels of risks in land use specifically are easier to treat than others. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                      • Maher, Lisa, and David Dixon. 1999. Policing and public health: Law enforcement and harm minimization in a street-level drug market. British Journal of Criminology 39.4: 488–512.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/bjc/39.4.488Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                        Analyzes the impact of police interventions over many years in a heroin market in Australia, through a public health perspective, concluding that crime reductions gained may be won at substantial public health costs. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                        • Sherman, Lawrence W. 1990. Police crackdowns: Initial and residual deterrence. Crime and Justice 12:1–48.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/449163Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                          A review and general introduction to the concept of crackdowns, from a deterrence perspective that is not strictly focused on the context of illegal drug markets. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                          • Weisburd, David L., and Lorraine Green. 1995. Policing drug hot spots: The Jersey City drug market analysis experiment. Justice Quarterly 12:711–735.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/07418829500096261Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                            In addition to evaluating the impact of a targeted intervention on drug and predatory crimes, offers a step-by-step approach to designing a randomized experiment in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies. The results indicate that cracking down on drug dealers in hot spots was linked to reductions in predatory crimes—much more so than drug crimes. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                            • Wood, Evan, Patricia M. Spittal, Will Small, et al. 2004. Displacement of Canada’s largest public illicit drug market in response to a police crackdown. Canadian Medical Association Journal 170.10: 1551–1556.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.1031928Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                              Analyzes data on drug usage patterns of a sample of street-entrenched drug users before and after an important police crackdown in downtown Vancouver; shows a displacement of users outside of the targeted area and a decrease in use of safe-disposal syringe boxes.

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                                                                                                              Precursor Control

                                                                                                              A particular aspect of synthetic drug control is the idea of targeting the chemicals necessary for producing the final marketable product, as opposed to simply the final product itself. US precursor laws appear to have produced different effects depending on their exact focus, sometimes shifting production from small-time to large-scale production (and vice versa) and at other times shifting production to neighboring countries such as Mexico (Cunningham, et al. 2009; Dobkin and Nicosa 2009). Strategies used by producers and their implications for legislation are discussed in Goetz 2007.

                                                                                                              • Cunningham, James, Lon-Mu Liu, and Russell Callaghan. 2009. Impact of US and Canadian precursor regulation on methamphetamine purity in the United States. Addiction 104.3: 441–453.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02458.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                Time-series analyses of the impact of precursor regulations in North America. Results show that precursor regulations targeting large-scale producers were associated with decreases in purity, whereas those targeting small-scale producers had no impact. Canada’s essential chemicals regulation may have led to increases in purity, by driving out low-quality producers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                • Dobkin, Carlos, and Nancy Nicosia. 2009. The war on drugs: Methamphetamine, public health, and crime. American Economic Review 99.1: 324–349.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.324Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                  An in-depth analysis of trends in methamphetamine market indicators in the United States, taking into account patterns in meth law enforcement and changes in legislation. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                  • Goetz, Andrew C. 2007. One stop, no stop, two stop, terry stop: Reasonable suspicion and pseudoephedrine purchases by suspected methamphetamine manufacturers. Michigan Law Review 105:1573–1596.

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                                                                                                                    A description of manufacture methods by methamphetamine producers, including purchase methods of precursors, written in the context of a reflection on meth-related legislation.

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                                                                                                                    Demand-Side Programs

                                                                                                                    While supply-side measures typically use law enforcement strategies to target sellers and suppliers, the situation becomes more complex when drug users are the object of intervention. More complex, in part, because the source of the intervention may involve a crowd as varied as the police, clinicians, or street outreach workers. We label as demand-side programs those interventions targeting users specifically. In this general section, we first group together studies that consider the effect of law-enforcement-related programs on drug users. The effects of those programs are not clear. On the one hand, it is generally recognized that the context of illegality constrains market size to a smaller level than would be expected in a legalization regime. On the other hand, few analyses find that variations on drug enforcement levels produce much effect on demand. Such is the conclusion of Rydell, et al. 1996, a cost-benefit analysis of drug control programs that proposes that a larger share of resources be devoted to drug treatment programs. Behrens, et al. 1999 reinforces that conclusion, extending the model to include the stage of the drug market epidemic, showing that timing matters, sometimes in unexpected ways (e.g., deterring heavy users in the early stages may remove an important deterrent for potential users later on). Fergusson, et al. 2002 shows as much for cannabis, drawing from a cohort study of New Zealanders, which included a nontrivial sample of participants with criminal-justice experiences. More than 90 percent of these cannabis users did not change their consumption post-arrest, and 5 percent either decreased or increased usage. The last two articles included in this section emphasize the consequences of more-general drug control policies on drug users. These outcomes include the lack of impact of a massive heroin seizure on heroin use in Vancouver (Wood, et al. 2003) and the public health consequences of the implementation of a drug paraphernalia law that increased risky behaviors among injecting drug users (Bluthenthal, et al. 1999).

                                                                                                                    • Behrens, Doris A., Jonathan P. Caulkins, Gernot Tragler, Josef L. Haunschmieda, and Gustav Feichtinger. 1999. A dynamic model of drug initiation: Implications for treatment and drug control. Mathematical Biosciences 159.1: 1–20.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/S0025-5564(99)00016-4Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                      Proposes a model of drug control that takes into account the “age” of a market, taking stock of prior research on drug initiation and epidemics. Finds that interventions have very different effects on drug use, depending on the maturity of a market and its users. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                      • Bluthenthal, N. Ricky, Jennifer Lorvick, Alex H. Kral, Elizabeth A. Erringer, and James G. Kahn. 1999. Collateral damage in the war on drugs: HIV risk behaviors among injection drug users. International Journal of Drug Policy 10.1: 25–38.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/S0955-3959(98)00076-0Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                        Examines how laws against paraphernalia affected syringe sharing in a group of 1,257 injection drug users. Results show that due to fear of being arrested, those users were more likely to become involved in risky behaviors such as sharing of syringes and other necessary supplies for injection. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                        • Fergusson, David M., Nicola R. Swain-Campbell, and L. John Horwood. 2002. Arrests and convictions for cannabis related offenses in a New Zealand birth cohort. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 70.1: 53–63.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1016/S0376-8716(02)00336-8Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                          The authors draw from an important cohort study in New Zealand to examine the patterns in contacts with the criminal-justice system against patterns in drug use over an extended time period. They find no effect of arrests and convictions on drug use patterns. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                          • Rydell, C. Peter, Jonathan P. Caulkins, and Susan S. Everingham. 1996. Enforcement or treatment? Modeling the relative efficacy of alternatives for controlling cocaine. Operations Research 44.5: 687–695.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1287/opre.44.5.687Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                            Introduces and compares four interventions for attempting to control drug use from a cost-effectiveness analysis. The first three (source country control, interdiction, and domestic enforcement) are interventions by different law enforcement agencies, also known as supply-control strategies, and the last one (treatment) is a demand strategy that attempts to reduce use. The authors argue that although treatment may not be the best and sole answer to dealing with drug use, it is the most cost effective when compared to the other interventions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                            • Wood, Evan, Mark W. Tyndall, Patricia M. Spittal, et al. 2003. Impact of supply-side policies for control of illicit drugs in the face of the AIDS and overdose epidemics: Investigation of a massive heroin seizure. Canadian Medical Association 168.2: 165–169.

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                                                                                                                              Examines the effect of Canada’s largest heroin seizure on the behaviors of injecting drug users. The study finds that the seizure had no effect on availability of drugs and drug use.

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                                                                                                                              Drug Use Prevention

                                                                                                                              Numerous prevention programs have been implemented in attempts to provide individuals with information on the harmful effects of drug use. The preventative literature identifies three types of these programs: universal, selective, and indicated (Cuijpers 2003). Universal programs are often delivered in a school setting (they can also be delivered in other settings as well) and are directed at the general student population (Cuijpers 2003). Targeted or selective programs are delivered to high-risk or vulnerable groups or individuals (Roe and Becker 2005), and indicated programs are delivered to populations who display early signs of concern (experimentation with drugs). A combination of universal and targeted programs have also been implemented and have proved to be more successful than either one examined separately (Lochman and Wells 2002). Prevention programs also vary according to the setting in which they are implemented. School-based programs such as those described in Botvin 2000 and Caulkins, et al. 2004 are prevalent in the literature, but family programs, mass-media campaigns, community programs, and workplace programs exist as well. These programs are delivered by teachers, peers, law enforcement officers, and family members. School-based prevention programs are reported to be successful in reducing adolescent substance use, especially when different methods are incorporated into one program (Lemstra, et al. 2010). Tobler and Stratton 1997 argues that programs that are carefully designed, use interactive methods, are based on scientific knowledge, and are led by peers are likely to produce promising results (Nation, et al. 2003).

                                                                                                                              • Botvin, Gilbert J. 2000. Preventing drug abuse in schools: Social and competence enhancement approaches targeting individual-level etiologic factors. Addictive Behaviors 25.6: 887–897.

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                                                                                                                                An introduction and review of the effectiveness of different types of school-based prevention approaches, including social influence and competence enhancement. Also discusses sources of mediation on the different approaches. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                • Caulkins, P. Jonathan, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Susan Paddock, and James Chiesa. 2004. What we can—and cannot—expect from school-based drug prevention. Drug and Alcohol Review 23.1: 79–87.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/09595230410001645574Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Examines the effectiveness of school-based prevention programs from the standpoint of social policy / social benefits. The authors argue that school-based prevention programs have more social benefits than economic costs per individual. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                  • Cuijpers, Pim. 2003. Three decades of drug prevention research. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy 10.1: 7–20.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/0968763021000018900Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                    An introduction on the classification, goals, and settings of preventive interventions. Reviews previous studies that have examined school-based, family-based, mass-media campaigns, and community interventions, and the methods employed by these programs. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                    • Lemstra, Mark, Norman Bennett, Ushasri Nannapaneni, et al. 2010. A systematic review of school-based marijuana and alcohol prevention programs targeting adolescent aged 10–15. Addiction Research and Theory 18.1: 84–96.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.3109/16066350802673224Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This systematic review examines the literature on school-based programs and finds that different targeting factors such as refusal skills and management skills, among others, are successful at preventing adolescent substance use. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                      • Lochman, E. John, and Karen C. Wells. 2002. The Coping Power program at the middle-school transition: Universal and indicated prevention effects. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 16.S4: S40–S54.

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                                                                                                                                        Evaluates the effects of three types of prevention programs: (1) universal prevention programs, (2) indicated or targeted intervention programs, and (3) a combination of universal and a combination of universal and indicated programs. The study finds that all groups that received separate programs or a combination of the programs had lower levels of substance use. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                        • Nation, Maury, Cindy Crusto, Abraham Wandersman, et al. 2003. What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs. American Psychologist 58.6–7: 449–456.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.449Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Identifies program characteristics (e.g., teaching methods, multiple interventions and settings, sufficient information) and matching population with the program (i.e., program is delivered at a crucial time in an individual’s life and is socioculturally relevant) as important predictors of effectiveness. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                          • Roe, Stephen, and Jane Becker. 2005. Drug prevention with vulnerable youth: A review. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 12.2: 85–99.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/0968763042000322639Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Examining previous literature on preventive programs, this study attempts to understand whether programs are successful with high-risk youth. The authors find that providing high-risk youth with a combination of universal and targeted programs leads to higher success rates than providing them separately. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                            • Tobler, S. Nancy, and Howard H. Stratton. 1997. Effectiveness of school-based drug prevention programs: A meta-analysis of the research. Journal of Primary Prevention 18.1: 71–128.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1023/A:1024630205999Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                              An excellent overview and meta-analysis of school-based adolescent drug prevention programs. Provides extensive information on ninety studies and one hundred twenty programs, based on content, delivery method, and size of the program. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                              Drug Use Treatment

                                                                                                                                              Drug treatment programs attempt to deal with substance dependency and related problems. Pharmacotherapy and behavioral therapy are two general approaches to drug addiction treatment, and four types of programs fall within these two approaches: (1) methadone maintenance, (2) therapeutic communities, (3) outpatient drug-free programs, and (4) detoxification programs. In general, there is a consensus that treatment programs are both effective (Prendergast, et al. 2002) and cost effective (Cartwright 2000) at reducing drug use. More important, the literature shows that patients are more successful at reducing their drug and alcohol use when they are provided with a combination of pharmacotherapy treatment and behavioral therapy (McLellan, et al. 1993). Inciardi, et al. 2004 shows that treatment programs can be delivered in different settings, including incarcerating institutions. Despite the success of some treatment programs locally in different samples, Reuter and Pollack 2006 argues that treatment alone cannot reduce drug problems at the national level.

                                                                                                                                              • Cartwright, William S. 2000. Cost-benefit analysis of drug treatment services: Review of the literature. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics 3.1: 11–26.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1002/1099-176X(200003)3:1%3C11::AID-MHP66%3E3.0.CO;2-0Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Introduces the challenges to the examination of treatment programs, through a cost-benefit analysis. This article reviews previous studies on different substance-oriented treatment programs; it identifies potential problems and provides advice on how to minimize or ameliorate these problems. The author concludes that even though a cost-benefit analysis might be difficult or problematic to conduct, the literature shows that treatment programs are cost effective. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                • Inciardi, James A., Steven S. Martin, and Clifford A. Butzin. 2004. Five-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment of drug-involved offenders after release from prison. Crime & Delinquency 50.1: 88–107.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/0011128703258874Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Examines primary (prison-based), secondary (work-release setting), and tertiary (aftercare; living in the community) levels of therapeutic community treatment with drug-involved incarcerated individuals. Results show that offenders who received long-term therapeutic community treatment had lower rates of relapse than those who did not receive treatment or dropped out of treatment. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                  • McLellan, A. Thomas, Isabelle O. Arndt, David S. Metzger, George E. Woody, and Charles P. O’Brien. 1993. The effects of psychosocial services in substance abuse treatment. Journal of the American Medical Association 269.15: 1953–1959.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1001/jama.1993.03500150065028Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    An important study that examines the combined effects of pharmacotherapy treatment and behavioral therapy. The study finds that patients who received a combination of these treatments had higher success rates in drug use reduction and other problematic behaviors such as illegal activity, and improvement on other aspects such as employment status, family relations, and psychiatric status. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Prendergast, Michael L., Deborah Podus, Eunice Chang, and Darren Urada. 2002. The effectiveness of drug abuse treatment: A meta-analysis of comparison group studies. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 67.1: 53–72.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/S0376-8716(02)00014-5Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      This meta-analysis examines groups that received drug treatment versus groups who received minimal or no treatment, finding that treatment programs were clearly more successful at reducing use. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Reuter, Peter, and Harold Pollack. 2006. How much can treatment reduce national drug problems? Addiction 101.3: 341–347.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01313.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Discusses the demonstrated benefits of treatment programs and asks whether it is possible for treatment programs to reduce use on a national level. The authors suggest that treatment alone will not solve drug problems at the national level, but collaboration among treatment, drug use prevention, and law enforcement might be more productive in combating drug problems. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                        Sentencing and Incarcerating Drug Offenders

                                                                                                                                                        An important component of drug control occurs at the court level of the criminal-justice system, where decisions are made on the fate of arrested drug market participants. A lenient drug enforcement system may be paired with a more stringent court system and vice versa. Caulkins and Chandler 2006 analyzes trends in the incarceration of drug offenders, and Sevigny and Caulkins 2004 examines in detail the nature of the offenses for which drug offenders are incarcerated, finding that most offenders cannot be described as purely “low-level,” requiring further reflections on the ways to reduce reliance on incarceration for drug offenders. Kuziemko and Levitt 2004 contributes to the debate, suggesting a positive association between incarceration and cocaine prices, which may have led to a small decrease in use. An important issue in sentencing drug offenders is proportionality: All else equal, are the courts biased toward punishing some type of individuals compared to others? Using different data and analyses, both Brownsberger 2000 and Albonetti 1997 find that a defendant’s characteristics, such as race, influence the severity of sentences for drug offenders.

                                                                                                                                                        • Albonetti, Celesta A. 1997. Sentencing under the federal sentencing guidelines: Effects of defendant characteristics, guilty pleas, and departures on sentence outcomes for drug offenses, 1991–1992. Law and Society Review 31.4: 789–822.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/3053987Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          A careful analysis of the effect of multiple characteristics, including race, on the severity of sentences meted out for drug offenders. Findings reveal several disparities with the sentencing guidelines, including a higher likelihood of black offenders being incarcerated for longer periods. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Brownsberger, William N. 2000. Race matters: Disproportionality of incarceration for drug dealing in Massachusetts. Journal of Drug Issues 30.2: 345–374.

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                                                                                                                                                            Analyzing a sample of 732 incarcerated drug offenders, emphasizes that the disparity in incarceration rates for minorities is wider for drug offenses compared to other offenses.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Caulkins, Jonathan P., and Sara Chandler. 2006. Long-run trends in incarceration of drug offenders in the United States. Crime & Delinquency 52.4: 619–641.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/0011128705284793Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              A detailed description of the trends in the incarceration of drug offenders in the United States, broken down by type of offense and substance. Compares the increasing incarceration rate to data on drug use prevalence and drug prices. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Kuziemko, Ilyana, and Steven D. Levitt. 2004. An empirical analysis of imprisoning drug offenders. Journal of Public Economics 88.9–10: 2043–2066.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/S0047-2727(03)00020-3Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                The analysis concludes that drug offenders’ incarceration between 1980 and 2000 has increased prices and decreased use but has been done excessively, canceling the potential gains made in drug use reduction.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Sevigny, Eric L., and Jonathan P. Caulkins. 2004. Kingpins or mules: An analysis of drug offenders incarcerated in federal and state prisons. Criminology and Public Policy 3.3: 401–434.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9133.2004.tb00050.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Contributes to the important war on drugs debate as to whether the US criminal justice system is biased in incarcerating more low-level, nonviolent offenders than would be expected. It turns out that few are truly low-level offenders, and even fewer are kingpins. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Drug Courts

                                                                                                                                                                  Drug courts have been created to answer a need for a justice system that would be more suitably adapted to the specific needs of drug offenders. In practice, however, the relative advantages of drug courts are still subject to debate, especially in the United States. A useful review of the development of drug courts may be found in Inciardi, et al. 1996. The literature is vast, making systematic reviews (Wilson, et al. 2006) useful places to start. These reviews will notably help orient the reader toward evaluations of the effect of drug courts on recidivism. As such, Gottfredson, et al. 2003 is an important example of such evaluations drawing from a randomized trial.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Gottfredson, Denise C., Stacy S. Najaka, and Brook Kearley. 2003. Effectiveness of drug treatment courts: Evidence from a randomized trial. Criminology and Public Policy 2.2: 171–196.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9133.2003.tb00117.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    One of the few examples of randomized trials involving drug courts, confirming the lower recidivism rates for offenders assigned to drug courts compared to others. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Inciardi, James A., Duane C. McBride, and James E. Rivers. 1996. Drug control and the courts. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                                                      A look at the drug court movement and rationale from a historical perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Wilson, David B., Ojmarrh Mitchell, and Doris L. MacKenzie. 2006. A systematic review of drug court effects on recidivism. Journal of Experimental Criminology 2.4: 459–487.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1007/s11292-006-9019-4Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        The authors review fifty studies, a majority concluding that drug courts are effective in reducing recidivism. Authors warn that the quality of the research is generally weak, preventing stronger conclusions for the time being. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Recidivism

                                                                                                                                                                        Recidivism studies often do not distinguish between drug offenders and others, but drugs are often considered as risk factors for reoffending for any released offenders. Nagin, et al. 2009, a general review essay on reoffending, is a useful starting point to understand the association between imprisonment and reoffending, whereas Huebner, et al. 2007 is a youth-focused analysis that demonstrates the importance of drugs as a risk factor in recidivism. From drug-offender-specific analyses such as Spohn and Holleran 2002, we learn that drug offenders sentenced to incarceration have higher rates of reoffending, and that this effect might be more salient among this offender population than others. Note that a probation-specific study in Hepburn and Albonetti 1994 shows that African Americans had the lowest time to probation failure in their sample.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Hepburn, John R., and Celesta A. Albonetti. 1994. Recidivism among drug offenders: A survival analysis of the effects of offender characteristics, type of offense, and two types of intervention. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 10.2: 159–179.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1007/BF02221157Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Follows over seven hundred probationers convicted of drug offenses; compares two types of interventions: one includes drug treatment, and the other does not. Results indicate no differences between the two and that ethnicity is the main risk factor. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Huebner, Beth M., Sean P. Varano, and Timothy Bynum. 2007. Gangs, guns, and drugs: Recidivism among serious, violent offenders. Criminology and Public Policy 6.2: 187–221.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9133.2007.00429.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Drawing from a sample of 322 inmates released between 1996 and 2005 in a midwestern US state, the study shows that drug use and gang membership are key risk factors for recidivism among serious violent offenders. Implications for policy are discussed, pointing to the role of institutional behavior in predicting recidivism. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Nagin, Daniel S., Francis T. Cullen, and Cheryl Lero Jonson. 2009. Imprisonment and reoffending. Crime and Justice 38.1: 115–200.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Not focused on drug offenders in particular, this review essay is nonetheless a must-read to contextualize reoffending studies on drug offending more specifically. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Spohn, Cassia, and David Holleran. 2002. The effect of imprisonment on recidivism rates of felony offenders: A focus on drug offenders. Criminology 40.2: 329–358.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2002.tb00959.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Over one thousand probation or incarcerated offenders were followed for a minimum of forty-eight months, showing that incarcerated offenders were more likely to recidivate than others. Important for showing that the criminogenic effect of incarceration may be even stronger for drug-involved offenders. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Unintended Consequences of Drug Control

                                                                                                                                                                                Much of the literature on drug control is positive, in the sense of working with the assumption that interventions, if they do not help, will not make problems worse. Such an assumption is sometimes wrong, as emphasized in the studies found in this section. One of the most important unintended consequences of interventions in drug law enforcement is to increase the levels of drug market violence. A systematic review in Werb, et al. 2010 suggests that the link between law enforcement intervention and violence is positive and strong. The analyses in Shepard and Blackley 2007, similar to those conducted in Benson, et al. 2001, demonstrate that investing resources in drug law enforcement may indirectly lead to an increase in predatory crimes, notably through a decrease in police resources invested in policing these crimes. Tonry and Melewski 2008 emphasizes the effect of drug crime control policies on black Americans.

                                                                                                                                                                                • Benson, B. L., I. S. Laburn, and D. W. Rasmussen. 2001. The impact of drug enforcement on crime: An investigation into the opportunity costs of police resources. Journal of Drug Issues 31.4: 989–1006.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/002204260103100410Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Authors use more-recent data to reexamine their previous finding that a shift of police resources to drug offenses in the 1980s may have caused an increase in property crimes, replicating their initial results. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Shepard, Edward M., and Paul R. Blackley. 2007. The impact of marijuana law enforcement in an economic model of crime. Journal of Drug Issues 37.2: 403–424.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/002204260703700209Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Analyzes county data over an eight-year period, showing that marijuana arrests are associated with increases in predatory crimes, including homicides. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tonry, Michael, and Matthew Melewski. 2008. The malign effect of drug and crime control policies on black Americans. Crime and Justice 37.1: 1–44.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Provides a recent review on how policies of drug and crime control disproportionally affect blacks, despite a reduction in black offending. Concludes that policies in place contribute to maintain such a disparity and that calls for change have yet to be answered. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Werb, Dan, Greg Rowell, Gordon Guyatt, et al. 2010. The effect of drug law enforcement on drug-related violence: Evidence from a scientific review. Vancouver, BC: International Centre for Science in Drug Policy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        The authors find fifteen studies that can be used to evaluate the link between drug enforcement and violence, with the majority finding a positive association between the two.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Alternatives to Prohibition

                                                                                                                                                                                        There is considerable debate as to whether drugs should remain illegal or whether an alternative regime to illegality and its enforcement would be better, such as the one used for tobacco and alcohol. While more experiments have been conducted with cannabis than with other substances (MacCoun and Reuter 2001), the effects of a major change in drug policy regimes are relatively uncertain. Room, et al. 2010 offers the most up-to-date account of how countries can make changes in their cannabis policy under current international conventions. Miron and Zwiebel 1995 reviews some of the arguments in the drug legalization debate, concluding, like Nadelmann 1989, that prohibition may incur more social costs than it helps prevent, even if a policy shift leads to increases in drug use. Alternative regimes to prohibition include legalization of substances, as well as harm reduction policies, interventions, and programs that aim to mitigate the harmful consequences associated with legal and illegal drug use.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • MacCoun, Robert, and Peter Reuter. 2001. Evaluating alternative cannabis regimes. British Journal of Psychiatry 178.2: 123–128.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1192/bjp.178.2.123Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Examines data on cannabis prevalence for the United States and many other nations with different cannabis regimes, including the Netherlands. Results show that decriminalizing cannabis per se may not have large effects on consumption, but commercialization might lead to increases in use.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Miron, Jeffrey A., and Jeffrey Zwiebel. 1995. The economic case against drug prohibition. Journal of Economic Perspectives 9.4: 175–192.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.4.175Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Essay reviewing some of the consequences of prohibition and how some of those could be avoided in a legalized regime.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nadelmann, Ethan A. 1989. Drug prohibition in the United States: Costs, consequences, and alternatives. Science 245.4921: 939–947.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1126/science.2772647Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well-known essay supporting legalization as a drug policy option in the United States, emphasizing the limits and costs of prohibition. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Room, Robin, Benedikt Fischer, Wayne Hall, Simon Lenton, and Peter Reuter. 2010. Cannabis policy: Moving beyond stalemate. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Provides a solid review of the literature on cannabis control and policy, and a detailed examination of policy options under current international conventions criminalizing drugs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Harm Reduction

                                                                                                                                                                                                Harm reduction strategies began in Europe during the 1980s as alternative approaches to dealing with societal problems (e.g., drug use) that were difficult or impossible to change (MacCoun 1998). These approaches have received increasing support among scholars and others who are concerned with the reduction of harms that result from drug use (Marlatt 1996, Marlatt and Witkiewitz 2010). For example, Bluthenthal, et al. 2000 shows how syringe exchange programs have been highly effective in reducing syringe sharing among injecting drug users in Oakland, California. As the essays in Marlatt 1996 and Lenton and Single 1998 emphasize, some view harm reduction as all-inclusive strategies (including intervention programs that aim to reduce harm as well as drug use), whereas others argue that such approaches should strictly focus on harm reduction. Although there is much debate about the context and features of harm reduction programs, scholars agree that currently no direct means of measuring drug-related harms exist (Weatherburn 2009). In other words, it is difficult to directly test the effectiveness of harm reduction programs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bluthenthal, Ricky N., Alex H. Kral, Lauren Gee, Elizabeth A. Erringer, and Brian R. Edlin. 2000. The effect of syringe exchange use on high-risk injection drug users: A cohort study. AIDS 14.5: 605–611.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1097/00002030-200003310-00015Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Examines 340 high-risk injecting drug users active from 1992 to 1996 in Oakland, California, to determine if a syringe exchange program was effective in deterring injecting drug users from sharing syringes with others. The study reports that among participants in the program there was a significant decrease in syringe sharing. This article discusses other important findings regarding the circumstances of injecting drug users’ lives.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Caulkins, Jonathan, and Peter Reuter. 2009. Towards a harm-reduction approach to enforcement. Safer Communities 8.1: 9–23.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1108/17578043200900003Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Discusses drug-related harms from a more inclusive approach in which different agents help reduce such harms. Its focus is on reducing harms that drug users impose on others and how law enforcement officers (i.e., police) can help in this direction. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lenton, Simon, and Eric Single. 1998. The definition of harm reduction. Drug and Alcohol Review 17.2: 213–220.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/09595239800187011Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Provides a general discussion of definitional issues of harm reduction, including narrow, broad, and hard empirical definitions. The authors suggest using a socio-empirical definition that entails three conditions: (1) reduction of drug-related harm rather than drug use, (2) inclusion of programs that encourage abstinence but that have an overall goal of harm reduction, and (3) inclusion of programs that may result in a net reduction in drug-related harm on a balance of probabilities. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • MacCoun, J. Robert. 1998. Toward a psychology of harm reduction. American Psychologist 53.11: 1199–1208.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.53.11.1199Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Examines previous objections to harm reduction strategies that claim such initiatives might send the wrong message or have adverse consequences, such as an increase in drug use. Examines harm reduction from a micro- and macro-level perspective and concludes that although such perspectives might have “pitfalls,” they have been shown to hold promise. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Marlatt, G. Alan. 1996. Harm reduction: Come as you are. Addictive Behaviors 21.6: 779–788.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1016/0306-4603(96)00042-1Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          An excellent description of the history, development, assumptions, principles, and values of the harm reduction movement. This article starts with an introduction of how harm reduction strategies came to exist and how they have been implemented in different countries. It then introduces and compares the different views of the moral model, disease model, and harm reduction model. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Marlatt, G. Alan, and Katie Witkiewitz. 2010. Update on harm-reduction policy and intervention research. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 6:591–606.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.121208.131438Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Provides an overview of the literature that examines intervention programs that have integrated harm reduction strategies such as needle syringe programs, safe injection facilities, opioid substitution programs, overdose prevention programs, school-based programs of substance use prevention, and so on. In addition, the authors provide recommendations (e.g., housing, trauma centers, programs for substance abuse prevention in the workplace, treatment for co-occurring disorders) for aiding individuals who use or abuse various substances. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ritter, Alison, and Jacqui Cameron. 2006. A review of the efficacy and effectiveness of harm reduction strategies for alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. Drug and Alcohol Review 25.6: 611–624.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/09595230600944529Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              A narrative review of previous literature on harm reduction programs. Included in the review are articles on alcohol, tobacco, drug injection, and outreach programs that use a narrow definition of harm reduction (in which the aim is to reduce harm rather than use). Also provides suggestions on altering legal and regulatory frameworks so that harms resulting from illegal drug use are reduced. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weatherburn, Don. 2009. Dilemmas in harm minimization. Addiction 104.3: 335–339.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02336.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Suggests that looking at harm reduction as a sole concept is problematic. To clearly define the goals related to the reduction of these problems, we need to differentiate among “harm reduction,” “harm reducing,” and “harm minimization.”

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