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Drug Use Among Police Detainees: A Comparative Analysis of DUMA and the US Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program

NCJ Number
Josh Sweeney; Jason Payne
Date Published
May 2012
6 pages
This report provides a comparative analysis of drug use among police detainees.
Comparative analysis reveals that the overall prevalence of cannabis use among police detainees in 2009 in Australia (46 percent) and the United States (44 percent) was similar, despite the fact that the rates of cannabis use in two Australian data collection locations, East Perth (55 percent) and South East Queensland (48 percent), were among the three sites with the highest rates. Overall, opiate use among police detainees was marginally higher in Australia (11 percent) than in the United States (8 percent). Three Australian locations ranked in the top five for opiate use: Sydney (17 percent), South East Queensland (14 percent) and East Perth (12 percent). Rates of cocaine use in the United States (25 percent) were substantially higher than in Australia (2 percent). The highest level of cocaine use in Australia, at 3 Sydney sites (7 percent), was still lower than the lowest level recorded across all 10 sites in the United States, in Sacramento, CA (11 percent). Sacramento, CA recorded the highest rate of amphetamine use (31 percent) across the combined 15 Australian and U.S. sites, almost twice the rate recorded in East Perth, which in 2009 had the highest prevalence of methamphetamine use across the Australian Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program. DUMA sites (16 percent). Nevertheless, three Australian sites were among the top five of Australian and United States combined sites and as a result produced a higher overall prevalence of methamphetamine use (11 percent) when compared with the United States (6 percent). The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM II) U.S. research program operates in 10 cities across the United States and captures drug use information from police detainees using urinalysis procedures comparable to Australia's own DUMA program. Figures and references