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Drug Consumption in Colombia


  • Adriana Camacho


  • Alejandro Gaviria


  • Catherine Rodríguez



This paper examines the evolution of drug use in Colombia over the past years. Our analysis, based on surveys from the Dirección Nacional de Estupefacientes, shows that drug consumption grew substantially between 1996 and 2013. The growth occurred for both genders, all ages, socioeconomic strata and types of occupation. The results also suggest that men of high socioeconomic strata who regularly consume alcohol and cigarettes and who are between 18 and 24 years of age are more likely to use drugs. Finally, the paper presents some indirect evidence that contradicts the alleged effects of the judgment of the Constitutional Court (Sentencia C-221 of May 1994) that decriminalized the personal dose on the consumption of drugs in Colombia.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriana Camacho & Alejandro Gaviria & Catherine Rodríguez, 2016. "Drug Consumption in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 015238, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:015238

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Juán Carlos Echeverry & Zeinab Partow, 1998. "Why Justice is unresponsive to crime: The Case of Cocaine in Colombia," Borradores de Economia 087, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Schuermann, Til & Smith, L. Vanessa, 2009. "Forecasting economic and financial variables with global VARs," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 642-675, October.
    3. Herschel Grossman & Daniel Mejía, 2008. "The war against drug producers," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-23, January.
    4. Medina, Carlos & Martínez, Hermes, 2003. "Violence and Drug Prohibition in Colombia," MPRA Paper 6935, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gaviria, Alejandro, 2000. "Increasing returns and the evolution of violent crime: the case of Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-25, February.
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    More about this item


    Drugs; decriminalization;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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