skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 150281 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Heroin Situation Assessment
Author(s): D Boyum; M A R Kleiman; J Caulkins; K Model; D P Cavanagh; M A Frank
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 80
Sponsoring Agency: BOTEC Analysis Corporation
Cambridge, MA 02138
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Washington, DC 20500
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

BOTEC Analysis Corporation
103 Blanchard Avenue, 1st Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: There is concern and controversy over the possibility that the United States is in the formative stages of a new heroin epidemic, since heroin seizures have risen, purity levels have soared, and prices have dropped.
Abstract: The authors contend that the most plausible explanation of the decline in heroin prices is due to the influx of high-purity heroin from Southeast Asia. The expansion in Southeast Asian heroin supply also seems to account for much of the increase in heroin seizures. At the same time, heroin consumption in the United States has been increasing. New heroin users represent a particular concern, since heroin use spreads primarily among friends and peers. Low heroin prices reduce economic barriers to experimentation, while high-purity heroin used intranasally or inhaled rather than intravenously reduces barriers created by stigma and fear of infection. In addition, low heroin prices ease the financial pressure on addicts to commit crimes in order to support their habits. While there is little evidence of rising heroin initiation rates among young users without prior hard drug experience, low prices and high purities pose the threat of an increase in the heroin-using population. The gravity of this threat suggests the need for more intensive monitoring efforts. Recent trends in heroin availability and supply are examined from an interdiction perspective, and data on heroin seizures are provided. Consideration is given to the effects of wholesale changes on retail conditions in the heroin market, the effects of retail conditions on heroin consumption, and the effects of supply conditions on drug-related harm. Supplemental tables and charts and the interview questionnaire used to obtain heroin data are appended. 18 tables and 3 figures
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Drug smuggling; Heroin; South-East Asia
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.