Cover: Prevalence Estimation and Policy Formulation

Prevalence Estimation and Policy Formulation

Published 2004

by Peter Reuter

Prevalence estimation has a potentially important role in drug policy decision making. To date, however, it has played only a modest role in decisions at the national level, though it has come to be important in the rhetoric of national drug policy. This limited influence arises from the limited capacities and credibility of the estimates on the one hand and the highly moralistic nature of the policy process surrounding the illicit drug issue on the other. The available numbers are developed either systematically from data sources that have low credibility (self-report) or are developed less systematically from sources that simply are not well understood. Estimates of the number of problematic drug users are most likely to have a significant role in policy making in the near future.

Originally published in: Journal of Drug Issues, v. 23, no. 2, 1993, pp. 167-184.

This report is part of the RAND reprint series. The Reprint was a product of RAND from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

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 www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

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.