Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Law and Justice
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Workshop for Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs 


Project Scope

An ad hoc committee will conduct a workshop-based study that will identify and describe what is known about the nature and scope of the illegal drug market. It will include an examination of market operations and will attempt to describe unique features of illegal markets that specialize in various popular drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana. It will investigate the characteristics of illegal drug users, particularly focusing on the youth market, long term users, and heavy users. The workshop agenda will also include discussion of further work to explore the research issues associated with illegal drug demand, to develop a research agenda to learn more about what drives demand in the United States, and to identify evidence-based prevention strategies.


National Institute of Justice

Committee Membership
PETER REUTER (Chair), School of Public Policy and Department of Criminology, University of Maryland
JAMES C. ANTHONY, Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
RICHARD J. BONNIE, Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, University of Virginia
DONALD KENKEL,Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University
TERRIE E. MOFFITT, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University
HAROLD POLLACK, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
MAXINE L. STITZER, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

CAROL PETRIE, Study Director
LINDA DePUGH, Administrative Assistant
BARBARA BOYD, Administrative Associate 

Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs (2010)

 Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs - cover





Despite efforts to reduce drug consumption in the United States over the past 35 years, drugs are just as cheap and available as they have ever been. Cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines continue to cause great harm in the country, particularly in minority communities in the major cities. Marijuana use remains a part of adolescent development for about half of the country's young people, although there is controversy about the extent of its harm.


Given the persistence of drug demand in the face of lengthy and expensive efforts to control the markets, the National Institute of Justice asked the National Research Council to undertake a study of current research on the demand for drugs in order to help better focus national efforts to reduce that demand.

This study complements the 2003 book, Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs by giving more attention to the sources of demand and assessing the potential of demand-side interventions to make a substantial difference to the nation's drug problems. Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs therefore focuses tightly on demand models in the field of economics and evaluates the data needs for advancing this relatively undeveloped area of investigation.






Home BOHSI Home BOSE Home BECS Home BCYF Home TAC Home Home BOTA Home CPOP Home CNSTAT Home CLAJ Home BBCSS Home Home About CLAJ CLAJ Mission CLAJ Members CLAJ Staff Other Sites of Interest About BOSE BOSE Mission BOSE Members BOSE Staff Our Sponsors Visiting our Buildings About CPOP CPOP Mission CPOP Members CPOP Staff About BBCSS BBCSS History BBCSS Members BBCSS Staff Our Sponsors Forum Home About CNSTAT CNSTAT Members CNSTAT Staff CNSTAT Mission Other Sites of Interest TEstTAc2 About BCYF BCYF History BCYF Graphic Illustration BCYF Members BCYF Staff About BOHSI BOHSI History BOHSI Members BOHSI Staff Our Sponsors ABOUT DBASSE Mission Advisory Committee Hauser Policy Impact Fund DBASSE Staff DBASSE Brochure Visiting our Buildings About Us Mission and Goals History Members Sponsors About BOTA BOTA Mission BOTA Members Visiting Our Buildings