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NCJ Number: 113188 Find in a Library
Title: Can the Borders Be Sealed?
Journal: Public Interest  Issue:92  Dated:(Summer 1988)  Pages:51-65
Author(s): P Reuter
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Putting more money into drug treatment and less money into efforts at supply interdiction would probably provide greater benefits to the United States population than the current approach, in which 75 percent of the Federal 'drug-war' budget and most State and local funding has focused on enforcement rather than prevention and treatment.
Abstract: Although Congress has been particularly eager to have the military increase its involvement in interdiction efforts, the recent results of the efforts to interdict cocaine are not encouraging. Interdiction may produce a high rate of seizures, but it will do little to decrease cocaine imports. Changing the organization or coordination of interdiction programs is unlikely to be effective, because smugglers can adapt their methods, and many methods exist for bringing cocaine into the United States. In addition, seizure has little effect on the retail price of cocaine or on consumption. Moreover, the intense interdiction since 1981 has been accompanied by declining prices, contrary both to intuition and to previous projections. Furthermore, interdiction has unintended consequences, in that it catches the less experienced or skilled smugglers, thereby increasing profits to the more experienced ones. Enforcement will continue to receive support for political reasons, a more effective approach would be to increase substantially the funding of other approaches. Prevention is the main hope for the long run, but more research is needed to prevention programs that work. More funding for treatment and creating better treatment programs to serve the diverse populations needing them are important areas that should be addressed.
Main Term(s): Drug law enforcement
Index Term(s): Border control; Drug abuse; Drug smuggling; Drug treatment programs; Services effectiveness
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