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NCJ Number: 192946 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Macro-Level Interventions on Addictive Behavior
Journal: Substance Use & Misuse  Volume:36  Issue:13  Dated:2001  Pages:1901-1922
Author(s): Rosalie L. Pacula Ph.D.; Frank J. Chaloupka Ph.D.
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 22
Publisher: http://www.dekker.com 
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study reviewed the literature that applies economic principles to the analysis of substance abuse, with attention to the impact of prices and public policies on the demands for tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs.
Abstract: Drug addictions are often viewed as compulsive behaviors that are not sensitive to the typical rules of self-discipline or market forces. Nonetheless, many governments attempt to discourage the consumption of addictive substances through macro policy tools, such as taxation, regulation, and prohibition, with the goal of reducing the harmful consequences of substance abuse. The government's ability to discourage substance-abusing behavior through these macro policies depends on the responsiveness of addictive consumption to market interventions. There are several shortcomings inherent in economic analyses of addictive behavior that have led many to question the value of the findings from this literature. The most obvious pitfall is the fact that economists generally work with large pre-existing data sets that often consist of aggregated data or insufficient data on individual behavior. This makes it impossible for economists to control for all relevant aspects of the individual's environment. Ongoing work has taken advantage of a number of new micro-level data sources that do collect more detailed information on the individuals, their families, their neighborhoods, and their schools. The findings from these ongoing studies will be helpful in refining the economist's understanding of the impact of these environmental influences on substance use and abuse. In addition, econometric techniques have become increasingly more sophisticated, so as to enable economists to control for factors that are not observed in the data they use, but are likely to influence behavior. The findings from these studies clearly show that even addictive behaviors are sensitive to changes in the price of the substances being abused. When the full price of the addictive substance increases, consumption of that substance declines, even among abusers; therefore, public policies that increase the full price of a drug to a consumer, particularly youth, are likely to result in long-term reductions in rates of addiction. 1 figure and 72 references
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Deterrence effectiveness; Drug abuse; Economic analysis; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Tobacco use
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=192946

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