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Birmingham/Jefferson County Drug Use Forecasting Project: Data Analysis Report

NCJ Number
L F Cook; V M Covington; J M McGuirk
Date Published
39 pages
This report summarizes drug use prevalence data on 1,614 arrestees of Birmingham/Jefferson County from July 1988 to March 1990 and makes recommendations about drug treatment services.
Birmingham, Alabama, is one of 25 cities participating in the Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) Project developed by the National Institute of Justice. In the framework of this project, the sample population responded to several DUF questionnaires and underwent periodic, voluntary drug testing. Drug use among offenders in Birmingham was found to be extremely high; cocaine, marijuana, and opiates were the most prevalent drugs. Because of the prevalence of cocaine, the study recommends devising specific cocaine treatment programs. Women were found to be equal participants in crime and drug use with men; however, they were also more reluctant to enter a treatment program because they feared losing custody of their children. In addition, needle sharing and prostitution were prevalent and raised concern about the spread of AIDS. This threat suggests that existing information and support programs are not successful and that innovative services must be developed to serve drug users. Since three-quarters of DUF offenders are black, treatment programs should be especially sensitive to minority issues. Programs should also keep in mind that most DUF offenders are single and unemployed so that their only refuge outside the treatment setting is the drug culture. Numerous statistical charts and three pages of bibliographical references are appended.