U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Sex Markets and Drug Markets: Examining the Links

NCJ Number
Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal Volume: 2 Issue: 2 Dated: 2000 Pages: 25-42
Tiggey May; Michael Hough; Mark Edmunds
Date Published
18 pages
This paper examines the relationship between sex markets and open drug markets.
The most obvious way in which a sex market can support a drug market is by providing a sufficient core of drug buyers to ensure that it is worthwhile for sellers to operate in that location. Sex workers also play a significant part in the operation of the market, not only as buyers but also as retail workers. The paper reviews the scope for and value of tackling drug markets through preventive strategies aimed at sex markets. It reviews the literature, presents three case studies of co-existing sex and drug markets, and considers which strategies offer the most promise in combating open sex and drug markets. The paper discusses harm reduction, demand reduction, education programs as an alternative to prosecution for sex workers and situational prevention. Situational prevention measures might include improving street lighting around outdoor working and using sites; securing unused buildings and those with poor place management; installation of closed circuit television in meeting places and identified using and sex sites; and notice boards for discreetly advertising sex services, thus removing cards from phone booths. Table, notes