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NCJ Number: 156327 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Careers in Crack, Drug Use, Drug Distribution, and Nondrug Criminality
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:41  Issue:3  Dated:(July 1995)  Pages:275-295
Author(s): B D Johnson; A Golub; J Fagan
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Careers in Crack Project examined the impact of crack cocaine on the lives of 1,003 users and sellers of crack, heroin, and cocaine powder interviewed in Manhattan, New York City in 1988-89.
Abstract: The interviews permitted the retrospective reconstruction of personal life histories, with emphasis on individual drug use, drug distribution, and nondrug criminality before and after each individual started using crack. Findings were often contrary to common beliefs about crack. Thus, almost all the participants who reported any crack use had previously been regular users of other illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. In addition, a majority of crack users reported extensive histories of drug abuse, drug selling, and nondrug criminality preceding any involvement with crack. Moreover, few of these crack abusers were youths; crack use started at an average age of 26.5 years. Furthermore, the advent of crack did not appear to have substantially increased offenders' rates of committing most forms of nondrug criminality, except for female prostitution. Results indicated that the crack epidemic appears to have passed through a variety of distinct phases and was starting to decline by about 1989. Findings suggest that intensive policing and severe sanctions for crack offenders will probably not reduce the persistence of individual use; a more appropriate policy might emphasize drug treatment instead of or in addition to any criminal sanctions. A more complete answer may involve removing social problems that provide ample bases for such phenomena. 79 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Crack; Drug effects; New York
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