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What America's Users Spend on
Illegal Drugs 1988–1998

December 2000

What America's Users Spend on 
Illegal Drugs

Table of Contents

    Entire Document in Adobe Acrobat (903K)

Credits

Executive Summary
What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs

  1. Consumption-based Estimate of Retail Expenditures
    Cocaine and Heroin
    The Number of Cocaine and Heroin Users
    Trends in Drug Use
    Average Amount Spent on Cocaine and Heroin
    Total Expenditures on Cocaine and Heroin
    How the Estimates are Affected by Varying the Assumptions
    Accounting for Income in Kind
    How Much Cocaine and Heroin is Consumed?
    Methamphetamines
    Marijuana
    Number of Marijuana Users
    Average Number of Joints Used Each Month
    Average Amount of Marijuana Used
    Price
    Total Consumption Estimates
    Other Drugs
    Conclusion about Consumption
  1. Drug Supply Estimates
    Cocaine
    Cultivation-based Supply Estimates
    Domestic Consumption-based Supply Estimates
    Event-based Supply Estimates
    Comparison of Cocaine Supply Estimates
    Heroin
    Model of Heroin Availability
    Determination of Source Area
    Seizure Levels
    Importation Points
    Movement of Heroin from Source Areas into the United States
    CNC Potential Production Estimates
    Non-U.S. Consumption
    Heroin—the Supply-Side Assessment
    Modeling the Flow of Methamphetamines
    Marijuana
    Legitimately Manufactured Controlled Substances and Illicitly
        Manufactured Dangerous Drugs
    Price and Purity of Illicit Drugs
Summary

Endnotes

Appendix A—How Did We Estimate the Number of Heavy Users
Appendix B—Estimating Typical Expenditures on Drug Consumption
Appendix C—Drug Prices
Appendix D—Imputations for Missing Data on Marijuana Use

List of Tables

Table 1: Total U.S. Expenditures on Illicit Drugs, 1988–2000 ($ in billions, 1998 dollar equivalents)
Table 2: Supply-Based Estimates of Cocaine and Heroin Available for Consumption in the U.S. (pure metric tons)
Table 3: Estimated Number of Hardcore and Occasional Users of Cocaine and Heroin (Thousands), 1988–2000
Table 4: Weekly Median Cocaine and Heroin Expenditures Reported by Arrestee Hardcore Users, 1989–2000
Table 5: Total Expenditures on Cocaine and Heroin, 1988–2000 ($ in billions, 1998 dollar equivalents)
Table 6: Retail Prices Per Pure Gram for Cocaine and Heroin, 1988–2000 (dollars, 1998 dollar equivalents)
Table 7: Total Amount of Cocaine and Heroin Used, 1988–2000 (in metric tons)
Table 8: Calculation of Total Methamphetamine Consumption, 1989–2000
Table 9: Calculation of Total Marijuana Consumption, 1988–2000
Table 10: Other Drugs: Total Yearly Users (thousands) and Expenditures ($ in billions, 1998 dollar equivalents), 1988–1998
Table 11: Total Expenditures on Illicit Drugs, 1989–2000 ($ in billions, 1998 dollar equivalents)
Table 12: Net cocaine produced for illicit markets (units as noted)
Table 13: Net cocaine produced for domestic retail market (metric tons)
Table 14: Event-Based Cocaine Amounts Departing South America By Transit Corridor, 1996–1999 (bulk metric tons)
Table 15: Cocaine Losses (pure metric tons)
Table 16: Comparison of Domestic Consumption Estimates (pure metric tons)
Table 17: Source of Heroin Used in the United States (Projected for 1998 and 1999) (Percentages)
Table 18: Estimated Amount of Heroin from Each Source Area (metric tons)
Table 19: Estimated Percentage of Heroin Entering the United States by Importation Point for Each Source Area
Table 20: Estimated Percentage of Heroin Entering the United States by Source Area for Each Importation Point
Table 21: Estimated Amount of Heroin (Metric Tons) Entering the United States by Source Area and Importation Point, 1995–1998

List of Figures

Figure 1: Description of stages in the flow of cocaine from source to street
Figure 2: Andean Potential Cocaine Production Estimates, 1990–1999 (pure metric tons)
Figure 3: Comparison of cocaine availability estimates, metric tons
Figure 4: Overview of a Heroin Flow Model
Figure 5: Heroin Seized by Year Metric Tons
Figure 6: Proportion of Heroin Seized by State (Region) Weighted by Seizure Size
Figure 7: Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab Seizures by DEA
Figure 8: Ephedrine & Pseudoephedrine Imports into the United States
Figure 9: Predicted Price per Gram of Cocaine at the Retail and Importation Distribution Levels
Figure 10: Predicted Price per Pure Gram of Heroin at the Retail and Importation Distribution Levels
Figure 11: Predicted Price per Pure Gram of Methamphetamine at the Retail and Importation Distribution Levels
Figure 12: Predicted Price per Bulk Gram of Marijuana at the Retail and Importation Distribution Levels







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Last Updated: March 4, 2002