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Narcotics Addiction: Related Criminal Careers, Social and Economic Costs

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1991
29 pages
A sample of 279 male heroin addicts admitted to methadone maintenance programs in Southern California, interviewed between 1978 and 1980, reported high rates of drug trafficking and over 250,000 property crime-days, which resulted in 6,251 arrests.
Analyses indicate that offense rates and related social and economic costs were at their highest during periods of addiction. The aggregate cost to society, including criminal justice system and drug treatment intervention, is conservatively estimated at $85 million, averaging $20,000 per subject per year. These findings provide an empirical basis against which to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of alternative interventions. 9 notes, 8 tables, and 53 references (Author abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1991