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Spending for Illegal Drugs Falling


May 1995

Spending for illegal drugs in the US fell between 1992 and 1993, continuing a decline from 1988 (Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 1988-1993, Spring 1995).

The 40-page report, authored by researchers at Abt Associates, Inc., attributes the decrease in spending to a slight decline in the number of users coupled with falling street prices for drugs.

In 1993, the report estimates Americans spent $49 billion on illegal drugs. Almost all of this expenditure was for cocaine ($31 billion), with smaller spending amounts for heroin ($7 billion), marijuana ($9 billion), and other illegal drugs or legal drugs used illicitly ($2 billion).

The report draws these conclusions using data from various studies and surveys that measure the number of illegal drug users, the estimated supply of drugs to the U.S., the street value of illegal drugs, and the amount of drugs consumed by the average "hardcore" and "occasional" user.

[To obtain a copy of this report, contact the Drugs and Crime Data Center and Clearinghouse, 1600 Research Boulevard, Rockville MD 20850, 1-800-732-3277.]