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NCJ Number: 201734 Find in a Library
Title: Researching Heroin Supply
Author(s): Shona Morrison
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Type: Research Paper
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This document focuses on the role of research in assessing what impact changes in the supply of heroin from source countries might have.
Abstract: Regular monitoring by researchers of drug supply indicators, such as cultivation levels and prices, is important for a number of reasons. This information is useful for monitoring trends in drug supply and helps to inform drug policy. Source-to-border (or supply side) indicators are analyzed mostly for the purpose of addressing questions on the effectiveness of law enforcement or other supply-side policies; and to look for clues about potential changes in domestic markets and the subsequent impact on demand. Changes in the supply of heroin are difficult to explain and hard to predict due to the lack of reliable data on drug production, price indices, and a range of other variables. The bulk of heroin entering Australia originated from opium poppies cultivated in the Golden Triangle. Myanmar (formerly Burma) is the largest source country for opium in this region. Drug supply indicators in their current form are limited in their capacity to assist policymakers to anticipate or evaluate domestic drug market trends. This is due to the lack of information about the whole of the supply side of the market – how much heroin is not seized or how many traffickers are not arrested. The descriptive method most regularly used to present supply indicators needs to be supplemented with a conceptual approach. Theories or models of drug supply are required in order to advance research, improve empirical collections, and broaden knowledge about drug markets in general. A model is presented that provides a range of extreme examples to explain heroin supplies at, and flowing from, an opium source. It is hypothesized that supply conditions are influenced by the interaction of two dimensions: (1) the nature of opium cultivation in source countries; and (2) perceived trafficking costs. 1 table, 6 figures, 24 references
Main Term(s): Drug research; Drug sources
Index Term(s): Controlled Substances; Drug analysis; Drug information; Heroin; Research methods; Smuggling/Trafficking
Note: Australian Institute of Criminology Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No. 257; downloaded August 21, 2003
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