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War on Drugs - Heroin, Cocaine, Crime, and Public Policy

NCJ Number
J A Inciardi
Date Published
242 pages
This wise-ranging exploration of the interrelationships between heroin, cocaine, and crime not only covers drug trafficking and the nature of abuse, but also evaluates American drug policy and suggests reforms.
The author traces the evolution of drug abuse in the United States from the early 18th century to the present, focusing on social and cultural events that shaped the nature of drug use and drug control policies. An overview of heroin and cocaine trafficking and use covers their origins, refining processes and distribution, preparation and use, and effects. A social history of the criminalization of use in the United States discusses popular myths about drug users that has negatively affected the quality of research into the drug-crime relationship. An empirical analysis of drug-related crime examines whether drug users are driven to crime or drugs drive crime. It concludes that contemporary evidence supports the latter. In an attempt to demythologize misconceptions about drug use, the book explores prostitution and the enslavement theory of addiction. The final chapters address the social, economic, and political implications of drug trafficking and offer an approach for salvaging American drug control policies. Street research in Miami and New York; interviews with users, dealers, and law enforcement personnel; and interviews in South America provided data for the analysis. Maps, tables, footnotes, and index.


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