Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback145 pages $20.00

This report analyzes the relative cost-effectiveness of various available drug interventions. Four such interventions analyzed in this document are (1) source country control; (2) interdiction; (3) domestic enforcement; and (4) treatment of heavy users. The first three of these programs focus on supply-control, whereby the cost of supplying cocaine is increased by seizing drugs and assets and by arresting and incarcerating dealers and their agents. The fourth program is a demand-control program because it reduces consumption directly, without going through the price mechanism. This study states that an estimated $13 billion are being spent in the United States each year on the four drug programs listed above and that the bulk of those resources are spent on domestic enforcement. Treatment of heavy users has only a small percentage of this budget, even when privately funded treatment is included. Given the high cost of supply control programs, this report concludes that treatment of heavy users may be a more cost-effective way of dealing with drug interventions.

The work reported here was sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. Army, RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center (DPRC) with funding from The Ford Foundation, and RAND’s Social Policy Department. The research was jointly carried out within three RAND entities: the DPRC, the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), and the Strategy and Doctrine Program of the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.