U.S. flag

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

Recent Decline in Cocaine Use Among Youthful Arrestees in Manhattan 1987 through 1993

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1994
5 pages
Drug use among juvenile offenders is discussed.
This report examines trends in illicit drug use among very high-risk youths who have problems with both drug use and the law. This study focuses on changes in drug use over time, especially the decline in the detected use of cocaine from 69 percent in 1987 to 17 percent in early 1993 among Drug Use Forecasting Manhattan Program (Program) arrestees under age 21 years of age. The Program obtains an objective measurement of recent drug use with urine samples. Tabular data reflect the decline in the popularity of cocaine. Three statistical techniques are used to analyze this decline: an age-period-cohort analysis, logistic regression, and postdiction. Statistical analysis strongly suggests that the observed decline in cocaine use among youthful arrestees resulted from a spectacular decline in the proportion of persons who grew up more recently becoming habitual users of cocaine or crack. Whether new cohorts of youthful arrestees, those born between 1976 and 1979, continue to avoid cocaine and crack before reaching age 21 (and at older ages as well) in 1997 to 2000 remains to be documented. The authors urge additional research to document whether parallel declines in detected cocaine use have been occurring among youthful arrestees in other Drug Use Forecasting cities. The authors conjecture as to reasons for the decline. References

Date Published: January 1, 1994