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The War on Drugs: Methamphetamine, Public Health, and Crime

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  • Carlos Dobkin
  • Nancy Nicosia

Abstract

In mid-1995, a government effort to reduce the supply of methamphetamine precursors successfully disrupted the methamphetamine market and interrupted a trajectory of increasing usage. The price of methamphetamine tripled and purity declined from 90 percent to 20 percent. Simultaneously, amphetaminerelated hospital and treatment admissions dropped 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Methamphetamine use among arrestees declined 55 percent. Although felony methamphetamine arrests fell 50 percent, there is no evidence of substantial reductions in property or violent crime. The impact was largely temporary. The price returned to its original level within four months; purity, hospital admissions, treatment admissions, and arrests approached preintervention levels within eighteen months. (JEL I12, K42)

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Dobkin & Nancy Nicosia, 2009. "The War on Drugs: Methamphetamine, Public Health, and Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 324-349, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:324-49
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. The War on Drugs: Methamphetamine, Public Health, and Crime (AER 2009) in ReplicationWiki

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