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Crack's Decline: Some Surprises Across U.S. Cities, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1997
13 pages
Publication Series
This report examines the progress of the crack epidemic at each of 24 locations served by the Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) Program from as early as 1987 through 1996 and shows drug epidemics tend to follow a natural course.
The data indicate the popularity of a particular drug, such as cocaine, emerges within a limited subpopulation. Drug epidemics tend to be local, with drug popularity varying substantially across jurisdictions. As of 1996, for example, crack use was declining at most DUF locations. In some noncoastal cities, however, the crack epidemic appeared as strong as ever. The data also show information about the prevalence of certain drugs, such as those monitored by DUF, can help identify drug epidemic phases experienced by a community. In addition, changes in drug use by young people indicate important transitions in a drug's popularity. To the extent future drug epidemics are similar to the crack epidemic, agencies can use DUF data to better deploy drug control resources. 16 references, 11 notes, 1 table, and 25 figures

Date Published: July 1, 1997