THURSDAY, JULY 20, 2000202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Over half of adult male arrestees in 34 reporting American cities tested positive for drug use according to data released today by the Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

The report, Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program: 1999 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Adult and Juvenile Arrestees, found significant differences in the patterns of arrestee drug use by city. For example, the percentage of male arrestees who tested positive for any drug ranged from 50 percent in San Antonio to 77 percent in Atlanta. The range among female arrestees was even more pronounced, from a low of 22 percent in Laredo, Texas, to 81 percent in New York City.

"The ADAM data reinforces what we already know -- there is a strong link between drug use and criminal behavior," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "These findings emphasize the need for local, comprehensive approaches to address drug use among at-risk individuals."

The ADAM study found that, as in past years, cocaine remains the drug of choice among many arrestees: more than one-third of adult male arrestees in a majority of sites tested positive for cocaine. Cocaine-positive rates for adult females ranged from 19 percent in San Antonio to 65 percent in New York City, and adult male cocaine-positive rates ranged from 14 percent in San Jose to 51 percent in Atlanta.

Consistently high percentages of overall use among arrestees mask differences in trends for specific drugs and in specific segments of the arrestee population. For example, methamphetamine use among ADAM arrestees is a phenomenon that appears to be concentrated mainly in the Western part of the United States, particularly in Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Jose and Spokane, where more than 20 percent of both the male and female arrestee populations tested positive for the drug. Methamphetamine use among juvenile arrestees followed a pattern similar to that of adult arrestees: methamphetamine was more commonly used by females and was most often detected at sites in the West/Southwest.

The study also found that the proportion of male adult arrestees testing positive for marijuana was greater than the rate for female adult arrestees in all sites. Adult male marijuana-positive rates ranged from 28 percent in Las Vegas to 51 percent in Omaha. Adult female marijuana-positive rates ranged from 9 percent in Laredo to 39 percent in Oklahoma City.

Among juvenile detainees, marijuana was the most commonly used drug--more than six times higher than cocaine use for both juvenile males and females. Among those sites that collect juvenile data, male detainees were more likely to test positive for the use of any drug than were female detainees. At every site, more than 40 percent of juvenile males and 20 percent of juvenile females tested positive for marijuana.

Opiate use, such as heroin and opium, remained relatively low in 1999 compared to the prevalence of cocaine and marijuana among adult arrestees. Only 12 sites had adult opiate-positive rates of 10 percent or higher. The proportion of female adult arrestees testing positive for opiates was greater than that for male adult arrestees in many sites. In only three sites -- Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C. - more than 15 percent of male adult arrestees tested positive for opiates; in six sites -- Albuquerque, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Portland, and Seattle - more than 15 percent of female adult arrestees tested positive for opiates.

"ADAM assists both law enforcement officials and drug treatment providers as they work together to break the cycle of drug use and crime," added NIJ Acting Director Julie Samuels. "Data collected under the ADAM program highlight the complex nature of the drug abuse problem and the need for communities to tailor law enforcement, prevention and treatment efforts to meet local drug problems."

NIJ, the research arm of the Department of Justice, is the primary sponsor of criminal justice research and evaluations to reduce crime. ADAM is an NIJ research program that provides program planning and policy information on drug use and other characteristics of arrestees in 35 U.S. cities in 26 states and the District of Columbia. ADAM data consists of information reported to interviewers by arrestees regarding their drug use and urinalysis results.

In 1999, ADAM collected data from more than 30,000 adult male arrestees in 34 reporting sites and more than 10,000 adult female arrestees in 32 sites. Additionally, data were collected from more than 2,500 juvenile male detainees in 9 sites, and more than 400 juvenile female detainees in 6 sites. Honolulu, the program's newest site began operation this year and had no 1999 data. Attached is a list of the 34 reporting sites in 1999.

The ADAM program makes it possible to identify levels of drug use among arrestees; track changes in patterns of drug use; identify specific drugs that are abused in each jurisdiction; alert officials to trends in drug use and the availability of new drugs; provide data to help understand the drug-crime connection; and evaluate law enforcement and jail-based programs and their effects. The survey also serves as a research platform for a wide variety of drug-related initiatives, including the relationship of drugs and crime to related social problems like alcohol abuse, domestic violence, drug markets, firearms, gambling, gangs, and sexually transmitted diseases. For example, in Indianapolis, a special committee convened by the mayor's office consisting of law enforcement officials, court officials, and service providers, used ADAM data in the development of a plan to address problems like prostitution, drug use and other crimes. The Philadelphia police department uses ADAM data to help with decisions related to officer deployment.

For a printed copy of this report, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service by calling toll-free 1-800-851-3420. To download a copy of the full report or receive additional information about NIJ, go to its Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij and click on "What's New."

For more information about the ADAM program and other Web-based reports on arrestees, visit the program's Website at www.adam-nij.net . General information about the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs.

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ADAM SITES in 1999

Alabama - Birmingham

Alaska - Anchorage

Arizona - Phoenix and Tucson

California - Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose

Colorado - Denver

District of Columbia

Florida - Ft. Lauderdale and Miami

Georgia - Atlanta

Illinois - Chicago

Indiana - Indianapolis

Iowa - Des Moines

Louisiana - New Orleans

Michigan - Detroit

Minnesota - Minneapolis

Nebraska - Omaha

Nevada - Las Vegas

New Mexico - Albuquerque

New York - New York City

Ohio - Cleveland

Oklahoma - Oklahoma City

Oregon - Portland

Pennsylvania - Philadelphia

Texas - Dallas, Houston, Laredo and San Antonio

Utah - Salt Lake City

Washington - Seattle and Spokane


Hawaii - Honolulu

* Missouri - Kansas City

* New York - Albany

* affiliate ADAM Site