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Monitoring the Decline in the Crack Epidemic With Data From the Drug Use Forecasting Program, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
131 pages
The crack epidemic in the United States was analyzed using Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) data collected between 1987 and 1994, and variations in the prevalence of detected crack use among DUF arrestees were examined as an indicator of the extent to which the crack epidemic declined at each location.
DUF data are particularly suited to examining the decline in the crack epidemic for several reasons; they accurately detect recent drug use through urine tests, oversample serious drug abusers, and illustrate trends in specific jurisdictions. In the current study, it was hypothesized that the decline in crack use would be indicated by the extent to which detected crack use among young arrestees between 18 and 20 years diminished. Statistical analysis of more than 200,000 observations at 24 DUF sites showed that the crack epidemic was in decline in most DUF locations, as indicated by a dramatic decline in the rate of detected crack use among young arrestees. The rate of crack use among all arrestees had also started to decline at some locations. For a few sites, however, the crack epidemic continued as strong as ever. Findings are briefly summarized by DUF location. Appendixes provide further data on analytical techniques and results. References, tables, and figures

Date Published: January 1, 1996