3
Measuring the Demand for Drugs

Illegal drug use is a covert behavior. Whether such use is ignored, tolerated, or aggressively deterred through law enforcement, it occurs outside the explicit framework of legal markets. Determining the prevalence of such use—defined as either the number of users or the quantity of drugs consumed—poses inherent challenges to both social scientists and epidemiologists. Interpreting the patterns is further complicated by the heterogeneity within the population of drug users. A substance such as marijuana is consumed in small quantities by many casual users, who may use it irregularly and rarely satisfy standard criteria for abuse or dependence.1 In contrast, most people who use heroin consume it regularly and frequently, and they are much more likely to satisfy the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for substance use disorders. This chapter describes the datasets that are available on drug use and its consequences in the United States. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each dataset and how it contributes to understanding of the demand for illegal drugs.

1

The standard criteria are those in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition.



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3 Measuring the Demand for Drugs I llegal drug use is a covert behavior. Whether such use is ignored, tol- erated, or aggressively deterred through law enforcement, it occurs outside the explicit framework of legal markets. Determining the prev- alence of such use—defined as either the number of users or the quantity of drugs consumed—poses inherent challenges to both social scientists and epidemiologists. Interpreting the patterns is further complicated by the heterogeneity within the population of drug users. A substance such as marijuana is consumed in small quantities by many casual users, who may use it irregularly and rarely satisfy standard criteria for abuse or dependence.1 In contrast, most people who use heroin consume it regu- larly and frequently, and they are much more likely to satisfy the Diag- nostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for substance use disorders. This chapter describes the datasets that are available on drug use and its consequences in the United States. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each dataset and how it con - tributes to understanding of the demand for illegal drugs. 1 The standard criteria are those in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Dis - orders 4th Edition. 

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 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS POPULATION SURVEYS The National Household Survey of Drug Abuse and the National Survey of Drug Use and Health The 1990-2001 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse (NHSDA) and its successor, the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), provide key data regarding the prevalence of substance use, abuse, and dependence and substance abuse treatment participation in a nation - ally representative sample of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population. These datasets include information regarding substance use, psychiatric disorders (including substance abuse and dependence), welfare receipt, and substance abuse treatment receipt during the 12 months prior to the survey interview. Figure 3-1 shows changes in the percentage of respondents (aged 12 years and older) who reported that they had used cocaine or marijuana in the previous 30 days from 1979 to 2007. For marijuana, the prevalence of use fell sharply in the 1980s from a very high rate (13 percent) in the late 1970s, rebounded modestly in the 1990s, and has been relatively stable since 2002 at about 6 percent. For cocaine, the story is somewhat similar, Methodological changes 14 12 Marijuana 10 Cocaine Percentage 8 6 4 2 0 79 5 0 2 4 6 8 00 02 04 06 07 9 8 9 9 9 9 19 20 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 Year FIgURE 3-1 Drug use in the past month, 1979-2007, for persons aged 12 and Fig3-1.eps older. SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2008).

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS though the figures are much lower: in 2007, only 0.8 percent of respon- dents reported cocaine use in the past 30 days.2 For no other illegal drug are prevalence rates so high. Methamphet- amine has become a major health and criminal justice problem in many parts of the country, as indicated by the numbers of treatment admissions and the percentage of arrestees testing positive for use of that drug; how - ever, the prevalence of past month use among 18-25-year-olds, the highest use group, has never risen above 0.7 percent. In recent years a new pattern of drug use has emerged that has gen - erated considerable concern: the reported consumption of diverted phar- maceuticals, that is, prescription drugs (see, e.g., Compton and Volkow, 2006). In 2004, 6.2 percent of the population aged 12 and over reported nonprescribed use of a prescription drug in the previous 12 months. Among those aged 18-25, the rate was more than twice as high, 14.8 per- cent. Approximately 12 percent of those reporting use within the past 12 months reported that they had used more than twice per week over that period. The NHSDA and NSDUH have many limitations that complicate trend analysis. Such analyses are particularly difficult when one seeks to compare current substance use patterns to those of the mid-1990s or earlier because of changes in survey methodology. The two surveys do not provide data for incarcerated individuals or those in residential treat - ment settings. They also do not provide chemical verification of survey responses. Other aspects of NHSDA and NSDUH design also suggest that these surveys provide poor coverage for the most criminally active segment of the drug-using population (see Fendrich et al., 2004; Gfroerer et al., 1997; Midanik, 1982; Midanik and Greenfield, 2003; Pollack and Reuter, 2006). NHSDA and NSDUH also face more general challenges that result in declining response rates and increased rates of refusal, which is true for many epidemiological studies over the past three decades (Galea and Tracy, 2007). Perhaps most important, the surveys are of self-reported data and are therefore vulnerable to underreporting of substance use and other stigmatized characteristics and behaviors. There are known biases in reported substance use and in substance abuse treatment (see Midanik and Greenfield, 2003; Minkoff et al., 1997). NHSDA and NSDUH are known to underrepresent frequent users of cocaine and heroin and to underrepre- sent the overall volume consumed of both substances (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1997; Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2001). 2 The increase in rates in 2002 is almost certainly the consequence of methodological changes, discussed below. Population rates have probably been stable over the 10-year period, 1997-2007, for both drugs.

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0 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS Analysis of the 2000 NHSDA illustrates these difficulties. Only 29 of 58,647 respondents reported at least weekly heroin use over the past 12 months. Accounting for the weighted and stratified nature of NHSDA, this number corresponds to an estimated 150,528 weekly heroin users3 in the United States. But this number represents approximately 16 percent of the estimated number of weekly heroin users as determined by a study done for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) (2001) in the same year. NHSDA and NSDUH have captured a somewhat greater number of cocaine users. The 2000 NHSDA included 225 respondents who reported at least weekly powder or crack cocaine use (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2001, Table 3). This number corresponds to an estimated 606,364 weekly cocaine users.4 However, this estimate is still less than ONDCP’s estimated number of chronic cocaine users. Research by Fendrich and colleagues (2004) attempted to validate household survey responses of Chicago respondents through the use of biomarkers. The authors found that the majority of women who tested positive for heroin and cocaine in hair, urine, or saliva tests did not reveal their use of these substances. Responses regarding marijuana use appeared more complete in these data. Harrison (1995) and Harrison and Hughes (1997) documents these patterns in greater detail, show- ing that self-report bias increases with the social stigma associated with a specific substance and that self-administered questionnaires reduce, but do not eliminate, such underreporting. A more recent study by Har- rison and colleagues (2007) of a large subsample of the NSDUH wave found that only 21 percent of those who tested positive for recent use of cocaine reported that in their questionnaires. When the NSDUH replaced the NHSDA in 2002, it included several survey design improvements. The survey now appears to capture a somewhat greater percentage of chronic substance users. An analysis of 2008 NSDUH data showed an estimated 173,839 weekly heroin users5 and an estimated 1,096,630 weekly cocaine users (powder or crack).6 The documentation for the survey spe- cifically warns against performing trend analysis that compares NHSDA and NSDUH data because of the major changes in survey methodology. Among other things, increased payments to respondents reduced survey nonresponse, and so it appears that there was an increase in estimated drug use prevalence in the NSDUH (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2003). Likely as a result of improved survey 3 This estimate has a 95 percent confidence interval [58,617, 242,439]. 4 This estimate has a 95 percent confidence interval [472,063, 740,664]. 5 This estimate has a 95 percent confidence interval [90,645, 257,034]. 6 This estimate has a 95 percent confidence interval [885,646, 1,307,614].

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS methodology, the estimated prevalence of last-year cocaine use rose from 1.9 percent in 2001 to 2.5 percent in 2002 (almost a one-third increase), which is implausible in the light of the much more modest changes in the years before and after. Survey methodology poses other obstacles to trend analysis in many variables. Over the 1990s, NHSDA used varying operational definitions of important demographic variables, including family income, welfare participation, and the age and number of dependent children in the household. We believe that we have constructed consistent subsamples for the committee’s trend analysis. However, NHSDA and NSDUH pose difficulties for trend analysis not found in more consistently implemented surveys, such as the Monitoring the Future (MTF) datasets used to track adolescent substance use. Until the year 2000, NHSDA did not operationalize DSM-III-Revised criteria for abuse. NHSDA provides an inconsistent and incomplete mea - sure of drug and alcohol dependence across survey years—a problem addressed in one-time surveys such as the 2002 National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions and now the NSDUH, but not addressed in a consistently implemented annual survey. Despite these limitations, NHSDA and NSDUH provide nationally representative individual data widely used for policy analysis, though the lack of state identifiers in public-use files has been a major hindrance to such analysis. We take this up in Chapter 5. Monitoring the Future Survey The MTF survey, which began in 1975 and continues, examines sub - stance use and other behaviors for a nationally representative sample of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students in 420 schools across the United States. MTF provides a high-quality data source to scrutinize the prevalence of self-reported substance use among students enrolled in school. In particular, the survey has asked exactly the same core questions on drug use over its almost 35 years of operation (although initially covering only 12th graders), allowing for consistent data on the major measures. However, a key study limitation is that MTF surveys of high school seniors capture only those who remain in school: dropouts are thus not effectively captured in the survey. For 12th grade, dropouts constitute about 9 percent, although there are wide disparities by race and ethnicity (Child Trends Data Bank, 2010). The MTF survey methodol- ogy also undersamples students who are pursuing General Educational Development certification. MTF technical materials suggest that the survey excludes between 15 and 20 percent of the pertinent cohort in the 12th-grade year (Bachman et

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 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS al., 2001). Given the strong correlation between substance use and limited educational attainment, this is an important concern, though one that has been acknowledged and subjected to analysis by MTF investigators (Bachman et al., 2001). MTF, NHSDA, and NSDUH differ in methodology, and there are con- sistent differences in reported rate of drug use. Perhaps most importantly, MTF is administered in the classroom and provides respondents with greater anonymity than does the household survey. Thus it is not surpris - ing that analyses comparing the reported rates for youth find higher rates in MTF than for a closely matched age group from NHSDA and NSDUH (Gfroerer, 1992). However, the time trends of the two surveys for the com- mon age groups are so similar that we report only the MTF results for youth to show the greater variation in changes over time for this group in comparison with the broader population aged 12 and over. Figure 3-2 shows the changes over time in prevalence of drug use among high school seniors. In this figure, for marijuana we use the preva- lence of more intense use, namely daily use (“on at least 20 of the last 30 days”). The data again show the deep decline during the 1980s, following the upturn in the late 1970s, the recovery of rates during the 1990s, and the more recent stabilization and decline. Less restrictive measures of use, such as “any use during the past 12 months,” yield higher prevalence 10 Daily marijuana 8 Percentage 6 4 30 -day cocaine 2 30-day MDMA 0 2003 2005 2007 2001 1983 1985 1989 1993 1995 1999 1977 1987 1997 1979 1991 1975 1981 Year FIgURE 3-2 Drug use by high school seniors, 1975-2007. NOTE: MDMA = ecstacy. Fig3-2.eps SOURCE: Johnston et al. (2009).

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS estimates but display similar trends over time (Johnston et al., 2009). At its height, the prevalence of daily use exceeded 10 percent; at its nadir it was barely 2 percent. For cocaine the timing is different, but the pattern is similar. Figure 3-2 also shows that use of ecstasy, a matter of great concern at the end of the 1990s has now declined to very low rates, illustrative of a drug that is briefly popular and then fades from sight. MTF also creates a panel of high school seniors each year, and the respondents are surveyed on their drug use for many years afterward. Some drug use data from these panels are reported in an annual report. However, the data are little used by scholars outside the Survey Research Center research group at Ann Arbor, which has itself made minimal use of the data. A National Research Council (2001) report commented on the loss of important information attributable to the restriction on access to the data. We take up this matter in Chapter 5. Other Surveys The 1990-1992 National Comorbidity Study (NCS) was the first nation- ally representative survey to use a fully structured diagnostic interview to assess the prevalence and correlates of (then-DSM-III) psychiatric dis- orders, including substance use disorders. The 2001-2003 Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES) replicated NCS methodologies. These surveys provide high-quality, nationally representative data to explore a wide range of DSM-IV defined psychiatric disorders, including lifetime and current substance use dis- orders. They also capture diverse physical and mental health measures, as well as respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics that are likely associated with both welfare receipt and substance use. CPES includes three distinct surveys, each of which is a weighted and stratified national probability sample of a specific population pertinent to policy debate (see Heeringa et al., 2004); see below. One of them is the 2001-2003 National Comorbidity Study-Replication (NCS-R), an enhanced replication of the NCS. It provides a high-quality, nationally representative survey to explore a wide range of DSM-IV defined psychiatric disorders, including lifetime and current substance use disorders (see Degenhardt et al., 2007). NCS-R also provides data on diverse issues related to individual well-being (Alegria et al., no date). The survey explores such outcomes as homelessness and food insecurity that are of particular importance to very low-income populations. NCS-R also explores problem behaviors, such as fighting, vandalism, and theft. NCS-R examines a more diverse range of psychiatric disorders, with higher fidelity to DSM-IV criteria than is available from other national data sources (such as NHSDA and NSDUH). NCS-R also captures the

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 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS receipt of mental health and substance abuse services, along with impor- tant information regarding both the financing of services and respon- dents’ perceived barriers to service receipt. The second of the CPES is the National Survey of American Life (NSAL). NSAL is a national household probability sample of 3,570 African Americans, 1,006 non-Hispanic whites, and 1,623 Afro-Caribbean adults (Heeringa et al., 2004). NSAL provides the most detailed information currently available on psychiatric disorders, well-being, and social per- formance of African and Afro-Caribbean Americans (see Ford et al., 2007; Jackson et al., 2004a, 2007a; Neighbors et al., 2007). The survey replicates the methodology and questions used in the NCS-R and it further explores questions of specific concern to populations of color (Jackson et al., 2004b; Pennell et al., 2004). The third of the CPES is the National Latino and Asian-American Study of Mental Health (NLAAS). NLAAS also replicates the NCS-R methodology to provide the most detailed information currently available on psychiatric disorders, well-being, and social performance of Latino and Asian American adults in U.S. households (see Abe-kim et al., 2007; Alegria et al., 2007; Chae et al., 2006; Chatterji et al., 2007; Nicdao et al., 2007; Pennell et al., 2004). Like NSDUH, CPES likely undersamples individuals with severe mental illness or substance use disorders, precisely because each of the surveys is also a household sample. Because these surveys replicate the NCS methodology, it is possible to examine trend changes in a national sample. Proxy Measures Given the limits of household surveys, particularly in obtaining data on frequent cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine users, there has been great interest in proxy indicators that might provide insight regarding the levels of use and changing size of this population. Proxy indicators include drug-related emergency department admissions and overdoses, alcohol-related traffic fatalities, admissions into substance abuse treat - ment, and toxicology screening of arrestees in major metropolitan areas. Each of these proxies captures some dimension of the social harms asso- ciated with substance use and fails to capture others. Showing how they jointly provide a picture of drug use remains an important task. DATASETS FOR RESEARCH In this section we describe the features and main strengths and weak- nesses of the most pertinent datasets for the committee’s work on under-

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS standing demand. We do not summarize all datasets. For example, we have not discussed cohort studies of treatment participants such as Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study and the National Treatment Improve- ment Evaluation Study (NTIES), or studies of treatment participants affili- ated with the Clinical Trials Network. We also do not summarize other data collection and dissemina- tion activities that are useful for drug policy formulation but that play a smaller role in academic research. For example, the Community Epi- demiology Work Group (CEWG) provides a venue for policy makers and researchers to assemble diverse data to conduct and communicate ongoing community-level surveillance of drug use and related trends (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010). CEWG seeks to help policy makers and researchers identify emerging trends, characteristics of vul- nerable populations, and the social and health consequences of substance use (Community Epidemiology Work Group, 2009). It is not itself an important source of data for research. Several datasets provide specific information regarding the popula- tion of people who receive substance abuse treatment services. These datasets provide detailed clinical information, as well as administrative data concerning payment sources, entry characteristics of treatment cli - ents, and characteristics of the treatment experience itself. These datasets also provide pre-post data regarding substance use, criminal offending, and other factors. These datasets also have several limitations. They are not representa- tive of the full population with substance use disorders, since the major- ity of those people do not receive treatment services. The most detailed datasets are also not generalizable to the full treatment population, since the underlying sample frames are not representative of the full population of treatment units. National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study NTIES, conducted from 1992 to 1997, features a large sample size of substance abuse treatment clients across short- and long-term residential settings, methadone maintenance, and ambulatory outpatient interven - tions. NTIES has a higher follow-up response rate (82 percent) than any comparable client-level follow-up treatment survey (Flynn et al., 2001; Gerstein and Johnson, 2000, 2001). Funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), NTIES is available for public use through the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan (see Gerstein et al., 1997) NTIES was not designed to be nationally representative of treatment clients. It does not cover people who are out of contact with the substance

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6 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS abuse treatment system. The sample universe is drawn from units sup- ported by CSAT. Compared with nationally representative client surveys, NTIES included a high percentage of nonwhites and criminal justice cli - ents (Zarkin et al., 2002). Treatment Episodes Data Set The Treatment Episodes Data Set-Admissions (TEDS-A) provides annual, individual-level data on the demographic characteristics and sub- stance use disorders for 1.9 million annual client admissions to treatment facilities for substance use disorders. The data items collected include pri - mary and secondary substances of abuse, treatment referral source, prior treatment episodes, age at first use, metropolitan area, and age. The 2005 TEDS-A included more than 640,000 treatment referrals from the criminal justice system, providing ample coverage of this key population of public health and law enforcement concern. Facilities that receive state funding (including federal funding through the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant) for alcohol or drug disorders form the TEDS-A sample frame. In 1997, TEDS-A was estimated to cover about 67 percent of all substance abuse treatment clients. The system has been character- ized by uneven participation by treatment units, particularly in the cor- rectional system. Analyses at the state level can be seriously affected by these inconsistencies. The Treatment Episode Data Set-Discharges (TEDS-D) is an adminis- trative data system that provides annual client-level data on discharges from alcohol or drug treatment in the same public or private substance abuse treatment facilities that comprise the TEDS sample frame. TEDS-D began data collection in 2000, though data were only released for public use through ICPSR in September 2008 for 2006. TEDS-D captures several variables that are critically important to pol- icy makers and researchers. It provides basic admissions data, including primary, secondary, and tertiary drug of abuse; number of prior treatments; primary source of referral; employment status; whether methadone was prescribed in treatment; diagnosis codes; presence of psychiatric problems; living arrangements; source of income; health insurance; expected source of payment; substance(s) abused; route of administration; frequency of use; age at first use; pregnancy and veteran status; health insurance; and days waiting to enter treatment. It also provides useful discharge data, such as client length of stay, whether the client successfully completed treatment, and service modality at time of discharge. TEDS-D features many of the strengths and weaknesses of the TEDS admission data. Investigators request data from all substance abuse treat - ment facilities that receive public funds. Although data are requested on

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS all clients, some facilities provide data only on clients whose treatment is financed by public funds. Data are collected on distinct admissions rather than distinct individuals. So some people may appear more than once in TEDS-D data. Moreover, a person who experiences a single treatment episode that involves multiple providers or care modalities may appear as multiple admissions and discharges in these data. Technical features of the data complicate comparisons of TEDS-D data across different states. Facility identifiers are stripped from TEDS-D. TEDS-D appears to provide a rich set of client and program character- istics for future research, yet we are unaware of any research papers using these data. TEDS-D provides, and will provide, a valuable data source for researchers and policy makers who seek to examine trends in length of stay, treatment completion, and other key measures. Moreover, the data provides a resource for multivariate analysis of basic associations, such as differences in length of stay as a function of insurance type, referral source, and the sociodemographic characteristics of clients. Although TEDS-D is not fully representative, it provides a large discharge-level national dataset with no close substitute in other available datasets. TEDS-D would be especially valuable if provisions were made to allow controlled research access to additional confidential data, such as identifiers of specific facilities that are linked with the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services dataset of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Such linkage would facilitate comparisons across space and time and also would facilitate improved multivariate analysis controlling for unit effects. Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program and Drug Use Forecasting Series The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program and Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) series provides data on the prevalence of drug use among arrested and booked persons. Between 1987 and 1997, DUF collected data in 24 sites across the United States and expanded to 35 sites in 1998. Beginning in 2000, ADAM implemented a probability-based sampling strategy (although a number of studies had shown that the ear- lier data do not generate biased results). The sampling frame comprised all people arrested and booked on local and state charges in identified ADAM counties in the United States. ADAM includes detailed, representative data regarding the severity of charges leading to arrest and booking; individuals’ contact with health care and substance abuse treatment systems; lifetime, 12-month, 30-day, and 72-hour experiences of substance use; and circumstances of drug purchases and sales. ADAM also includes voluntary urine test results.

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 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS $20 per gram (in recent years) and individual expenditures of approxi - mately $50. Another level is low-level wholesale transactions, with pur- chases of about an ounce; the price has been about $10 per gram and expenditures would be around $250. The third level is transactions at the high wholesale level, involving about a pound and, in recent years, a price of $6 per gram and expenditure of $2,500. These data indicate how high a proportion of the final price of marijuana is accounted for the activities of lower level dealers. In order to assess the effects of these price changes over time on con- sumption, it is important to pay attention to substances that are poten - tial substitutes or complements to these drugs. The real price of beer and spirits also declined markedly over the same period. Real tobacco prices sharply increased, reflecting state and local excise tax increases, as well as price increases brought about by the tobacco master settlement agreement. CHANgES IN DRUg MARKETS SINCE 1990 Drug markets have changed in many ways since 1990. In particular, the markets for cocaine and heroin now both involve much older buy- ers and sellers, and this change has profound consequences for how the markets operate and for their effects on society. During the 1990s, the number of “chronic users” of cocaine and heroin showed steady decline according to the most recent estimate published by the ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2001).7 Yet the number of emergency department admissions and the number of deaths related to these drugs markedly rose. In the case of heroin, it was esti- mated that the total number of chronic users fell from 1,000,000 in 1990 to 800,000 in 1999 while the estimated number of emergency department admissions related to heroin rose from 33,000 to 84,000. Over this time period, the rate of emergency department admissions per heroin addict rose from about 3 per hundred to 10 per hundred. This is consistent with a population which, through aging, is increasingly subject to acute health problems (Scott et al., 2007). Another manifestation of the aging phenomena may be the decline in crime despite continued high rates of detected crack use. Levitt (2004) argued that the receding of the crack epidemic was a major factor in explaining the decline in black youth homicides in the 1990s, just as the epidemic itself was a principal driver of the homicide rise in the 7 Successive estimates showed considerable variation both in absolute numbers for the same estimate year and in the pattern of changes year to year (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1995, 1997).

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS 1980s. In a subsequent article (Fryer et al., 2005), Levitt and colleagues develop a crack index that summarizes diverse indicators of crack use. The index was flat through most of the 1990s, and the authors conjecture that the decline in homicide, in particular, arose from the creation of property rights—that is, established ownership of specific locations for selling drugs—in a stabilized market. The property rights hypothesis is an interesting one; we know of no evidence to directly test it. However, large urban policy initiatives, such as the Chicago Housing Authority’s Transformation project, may provide policy experiments to scrutinize this hypothesis (Jacob and Ludwig, 2006). A recent study of the Denver heroin market (Hoffer, 2006) points to the complexity of arrangements in these markets and the extent to which they are shaped by specific physical and social environments. In Denver, the open air heroin market settled in an area that had been occupied by a number of homeless men, some of whom were themselves heroin addicts. When Hoffer observed the market in the 1990s, these men had become important go-betweens for the more professional sellers, mostly illegal Mexican immigrants working for a Mexican drug gang, and the broader population of users in the city. The city cleaned up the area in the mid-1990s, partly to prepare for the new baseball stadium. This change made the area much less attractive both to customers and to the immigrant sellers; the locals moved from being go-betweens to active sellers themselves and forced the market to be reconfigured in a number of different ways. Given that male violence declines with age, a simpler, compelling hypothesis for the changed linkage between aggregate measures of crack use and homicide may be found in the aging of the crack-using popula - tion, conjectured in MacCoun and Reuter (2001). This pattern is also con- sistent with prison inmate survey data, which show marked aging in the population of prison inmates who reported recent cocaine use at the time of their incarceration (Pollack, Reuter, and Sevigny, 2010). Prison inmate survey data also indicate sharply declining age profiles in violent offend - ing among cocaine users (Pollack et al., 2010). The contrasting trends in numbers and adverse consequences suggest that the overall number of drug users is just one of several variables that influence the health, employment, and crime consequences of substance use. The age of drug users, the duration and intensity of their drug use, and other factors play important roles. Similar insights apply to the sup - ply side of illegal drug markets. The aging of drug sellers and the matur- ing of drug markets may be more important than the overall number of drug sellers in determining the social effects of these markets on local communities. An influential study by Levitt and Venkatesh (2000), based on data collected in the early 1990s, examined the young and eager sellers will -

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6 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS ing to work for low wages in the hope of succeeding to the position of a high-level dealer. These sellers, 15 years later, may form an aging cohort of cocaine-dependent sellers, who are advantaged by the fact that they take some of their return in the form of reduced-price drugs. More recently, youths may no longer be so readily tempted to enter into drug selling rather than completing school. In this respect, data collected on juvenile arrestees in the District of Columbia since 1987 are of some interest. In the late 1980s more than 20 percent of juvenile arrestees tested positive for recent cocaine use; the comparable figure since about 2003 has been less than 4 percent (District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency, 2009). Given the chronic, relapsing nature of substance use disorders, these age patterns become especially important (Pollack et al., 2010). For exam - ple, Hser and colleagues (2001) found that the risk of incarceration for a cohort of heroin addicts they recruited in 1964 varied over the 33 years that they followed them. When the addicts were surveyed at the first follow-up in 1973-1974 at average age 37, 23 percent were incarcerated; in 1996-1997, at average age 57, only 14 percent of the survivors were incarcerated. Most recently, Basu, Paltiel, and Pollack (2008) used data from NTIES to examine criminal offending among substance abuse treatment clients. These authors report that clients under the age of 25 were four times as likely to report that they had recently robbed someone with a weapon as were clients over the age of 30. Although by some measures older clients achieved better treatment outcomes, substance abuse treatment was most cost-beneficial when provided to the most criminally active population of male clients under 25, precisely because these younger drug addicts inflict such high costs on society through their criminal offending. Recently, there has been some attention to the aging of the population being treated for drug dependence. Trunzo and Henderson (2007) show that, of those in treatment for drugs or drugs and alcohol, the number over age 50 quintupled in 13 years (1992-2005), while the total popula - tion in treatment rose only by 14 percent over about the same period (1993-2003). According to 2005 TEDS data, substance abuse treatment clients over the age of 50 have been using for a very long time (Trunzo and Henderson, 2007): the average duration of cocaine use was 20 years; the average duration of heroin use was 34 years. These data indicate strong period effects in the reported initiation of some substances, though not others. Figure 3-6 shows the reported year of first use among patients recently admitted for heroin use disorders aged 50 or older in 2005: more than one-third of them initiated use between 1966 and 1971; more than three-fourths initiated use before 1980. Figure 3-7 shows the most dramatic descriptive evidence of cohort

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS 10 0 Cumulative Distribution (percentage) 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 4 8 2 6 0 4 8 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 5 5 4 6 6 4 6 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 Year of First Use Alcohol Heroin Cocaine Marijuana Narcotic Analgesics FIgURE 3-6 Year of first use for clients over age 50 at treatment entry in 2005, by substance. SOURCE: Modified from Trunzo and Henderson (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2007). Fig3-6.eps 35 30 1992 2006 25 Percentage 20 15 10 5 0 18 -20 21-25 26 -30 31-35 36 -40 41- 45 46 -50 51+ Age (years) FIgURE 3-7 Changes in the age distribution of clients admitted for smoked co- caine disorders, 1992 and 2006. Fig3-7.eps SOURCE: Treatment Episode Data Set (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Ser- vices Administration, 2007).

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 UNDERSTANDING THE DEMAND FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS 200 1994 160 2002 (per 10 0,000 population) Rate of Mentions 120 80 40 0 12-17 18-19 20 -25 26-29 30 -34 35-44 45 -54 55+ Age (years) FIgURE 3-8 Mentions of cocaine in emergency departments, by age, 1994 and 2002. SOURCE: Data from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2002, 2003). Fig3-8.eps aging among in-treatment substance users. The figure, drawn from 1992 and 2006 TEDS data, displays changes in the age distribution of clients admitted for cocaine (smoked) disorders. In 1992 more than 50 percent of those entering treatment were 30 years old or younger; in 2006 that fig - ure had dropped to 21 percent. At the same time, the percent over age 40 rose from 7 percent to more than 40 percent. These changes do not reflect the consequence of an epidemic of new use among the older population; rather, they represent the aging of those who were caught in the earlier epidemics. Similar, although somewhat weaker evidence of aging can be found in DAWN emergency department data: see Figure 3-8. The population- adjusted rate of cocaine-related admissions hardly changed between 1994 and 2002 for age groups under 35. The rate increased by 75 percent for patients aged 35-44, and it more than doubled for those aged 45-54. In the case of heroin, there is other evidence of a sudden elevation of initiation rates during the late 1960s and early 1970s, followed by a rapid decline to a much lower rate, a phenomenon first reported by kozel and Adams (1986). Similarly, in an early 1990s sample of street heroin users, Rocheleau and Boyum (1994) also found evidence of much higher initiation rates in the early 1970s than in the following 15 years. For cocaine powder, the decline is less pronounced than that for heroin

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 MEASURING THE DEMAND FOR DRUGS (Rydell and Everingham, 1994). More recently, Caulkins and colleagues (2004) reported estimates of annual cocaine initiation using NHSDA and a variety of methods; all show a peak in 1980 followed by a decline of two-thirds in the next 5 years. For crack cocaine, the epidemic was still later, starting between about 1982 and 1986, depending on the city (Cork, 1999). This phenomenon of sudden change in initiation has been the subject of a new class of epidemiologic models developed by Jonathan Caulkins and collaborators (e.g., Caulkins et al., 2004; Tragler et al., 2001). These authors use diverse data to document the long trajectory of drug epidem - ics. After the peak, the initiation rate does not return to its original zero level, but it does fall to a rate well below the peak. Under reasonable assumptions, the result is a flow of new users who do not fully replace those lost through desistance, death, or incarceration. Thus, the number of dependent users declines over time. Moreover, the drug-using population ages, with corresponding changes in the health, employment, and crime consequences of substance use. This aging phenomenon is not restricted to the United States. Similar analyses of the aging heroin-dependent population can be found in Swit - zerland. For example, Nordt and Stohler (2006) show the same kind of sharp increase and decline in heroin initiation. They reference a similar pattern in Italy. However, data from England (De Angelis et al., 2004) and Australia (Law et al., 2001) show a much slower and less peaked epidemic of initiation. These findings are a reminder that epidemics represent social rather than biological contagion and so vary in shape over time and place, and they focus attention on what can be done to prevent new ones from taking hold. In addition to the formal modeling of epidemics of drug use, there is a substantial observational literature, often based on ethnographic research that describes the process of change; see, for example, Agar and Risinger (2002) on heroin, Hamid (1991) on crack, and Murphy and col- leagues (2005) on ecstasy. Understanding what generates these sudden upsurges in particular places and particular times is a research issue of the greatest importance. CONCLUSION Economic models help to illuminate drug markets, but they leave many unsettled questions. Nationally representative survey data provide a useful resource to examine the determinants of occasional drug use, par- ticularly among youth and young adults. The most socially costly forms of chronic substance abuse and dependence are not well captured in avail- able survey data. Other epidemiological sources—including emergency department data and analysis of data from arrestees—provide a better, albeit indirect, window into these patterns.

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