In some areas, as high as 81 percent of adult males arrested test positive for drugs at the time of arrest, according to a drug abuse monitoring report released by the White House on Thursday.
The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program II report is produced annually by the Office of Natural Drug Control Policy to provide policymakers accurate and reliable data on what drugs are being used in the United States, how much is being consumed, characteristics of users, and trends.
In the 10 participating cities and counties, more than half of adult males arrested for a wide range of crimes tested positive for at least one drug. The highest percentage came from Sacramento, Calif., where 81 percent of arrestees tested positive. The percentage was higher than 60 percent for all areas.
The data comes from more than 6,300 interviews and 5,900 urine samples from 73,000 arrests in 2011. The men were tested within 48 hours of their arrest. Marijuana was the most commonly detected in drug tests. At nine out of 10 of the testing locations, 45 percent or more men tested positive.
National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske says the data confirms that the drug problem must be addressed as a public health issue and not a criminal justice issue.
“Decades of research and experience show us crime and drug use are linked, and too often underlying substance use disorders are the driving force of criminal activity taking place in our communities. While the criminal justice system will always serve a vital role in protecting public safety, we cannot simply arrest our way out of the drug problem,” he said in a White House press release.
The 10 current ADAM II sites are: Atlanta, GA (Fulton County); Charlotte, NC (Mecklenburg County); Chicago, IL (Cook County); Denver, CO (Denver County); Indianapolis, IN (Marion County); Minneapolis, MN (Hennepin County); New York, NY (Borough of Manhattan); Portland, OR (Multnomah County); Sacramento, CA (Sacramento County); and Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia).
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