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Monitoring Drug Epidemics and the Markets that Sustain Them Using ADAM II: Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Andrew Golub Ph.D.; Henry Brownstein Ph.D.; Eloise Dunlap Ph.D.
Date Published
August 2012
15 pages
This report summarizes the methodology and findings from a study of trends in marijuana, cocaine/crack, opiate/heroin, and methamphetamine use throughout the 2000s, as reported by sites participating in the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program.
The study obtained the ADAM 2000-2003 and the ADAM II 2007-2010 data. Because of the gap between the ADAM and ADAM II program, there are no data available for the years 2004-2006. Over the years studied, the most pressing drug-related concern for most of the ADAM II locations was marijuana and any associated anti-social behaviors. To the extent that marijuana use is involved with fewer drug-related problems than the use of crack cocaine, this is good news. Regarding crack cocaine, all of the locations are experiencing a decline, except for the Sacramento site. During this decline phase of the crack cocaine epidemic, many older users will persist in their use. Accordingly, law enforcement and related agencies may focus their policies on stemming problems associated with the use of crack cocaine by this older user population as opposed to focusing on younger users. On the other hand, policies in Sacramento may require maintaining a focus on reducing crack use among youths. Similar to the crack epidemic, an opiate/heroin epidemic was in decline in three locations (Chicago, Manhattan, and Washington, DC), suggesting that policies be aimed at an aging and shrinking population of heroin users, with the exception of Portland, OR, where the opiate/heroin use is endemic. Study findings suggest that the methamphetamine epidemic has entered a decline at the two ADAM sites where use had been widespread among arrestees in the Midwest and Southeast. The analysis highlights how the drug problems facing different ADAM jurisdictions can vary significantly, suggesting the need for drug control policies to be tailored to the ADAM findings. 8 figures and 27 references