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This article gives an overview of illicit drug use among various populations, synthesizing research from a variety of sources. It traces patterns among drug users to show how they place an increasing burden on society and to indicate directions for policymakers.

Originally published in: When Drug Addicts Have Children: Reorienting Child Welfare's Response, Douglas J. Besharov, ed., Washington, D.C. 1994, pp. 3-31.

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