FRIDAY, MAY 14, 1999202/307-0703


Justice Department Program Compiles Data on Drug Use in Cities Worldwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The use of opiates/heroin, methadone and amphetamine tends to be lower among arrestees in the United States than in England, according to a Justice Department study released today. Comparing Drug Use Rates of Detained Arrestees in the United States and England also reports that crack/cocaine use is higher among arrestees in the United States, and marijuana and depressant use in the two countries is comparable.

The report highlights findings from the International Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (I-ADAM) program, which interviews and tests arrestees for drug use in several countries worldwide. I-ADAM is sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Department.

"Comparing drug use across national boundaries is another step toward understanding the worldwide drug problem," said NIJ Director Jeremy Travis. "Identifying patterns of drug abuse in different countries can give us insight into cultural and environmental influences on drug use, as well as trends in international drug trafficking."

The I-ADAM program was established in 1998 as an international extension of NIJ's domestic ADAM program, which operates in 35 cities in the United States. Both the domestic and international ADAM programs collect and analyze data on drug use of arrestees detained in police lock-ups. Other countries participating in the I-ADAM program include Australia, Chile, South Africa, Scotland, The Netherlands, and Panama.

Data on drug use are obtained by combining urinalysis results with self-reported drug use by arrestees. For more than 90 percent of arrestees in the United States and England, the findings of the self-report survey and the urinalysis were in agreement. Underreporting of drug use was higher in the United States than in England.

To help ensure that any differences in drug use were due to national and not local factors, the study released today compared data from five pairs of cities in the United States and England similar in population density. The city pairs were New York City, New York (Manhattan Only) and London; Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Manchester; Miami, Florida and Nottingham; Washington, D.C. and Sunderland; and Birmingham, Alabama and Cambridge.

The I-ADAM study reveals a number of similarities in drug use between the two countries. A large proportion of arrestees in both countries tested positive for one or more drugs - 68 percent in the United States and 59 percent in England. More than 80 percent of the arrestees in each country reported illegal drug use at some point in their lives. In both countries, arrestees age 21 or older are more likely to test positive for drugs other than marijuana than those 20 or younger, but younger arrestees are more likely than older arrestees to test positive for marijuana use. Unemployed arrestees in both countries are significantly more likely to test positive than employed arrestees. Also, few differences are found between the two countries in the percentage of arrestees who had ever received drug treatment.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the primary sponsor of criminal justice research and evaluations of programs to reduce crime. For additional information about NIJ, the Internet

address is The Internet address for the ADAM program is General information about the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is available at

The report is available on the Internet at, or from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) by calling toll-free, 1-800/851-3420.

For information on this report, contact the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.

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After hours contact: Mike McCarthy at 202/305-0779