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|Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1995|
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring 1997
Methodology and survey sampling information
Note: The following information was excerpted from the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1997 Drug Use Forecasting Annual Report on Adult and Juvenile Arrestees, NCJ-171672 (Washington, DC: USGPO, 1998), pp. 1, 15-73; and information provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. Non-substantive editorial adaptations have been made.
The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program, formerly the Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) program, collects data at selected arrest booking facilities throughout the United States. Each quarter, trained local ADAM staff obtain voluntary and anonymous urine specimens and interviews from new samples of booked arrestees. The ADAM sample is based on arrestees brought into the booking facility and detained in the facilities less than 48 hours. Arrestees released before booking are not part of the ADAM sample. At each site, approximately 225 males are sampled each quarter. In all except two sites, approximately 100 adult females also are sampled. At 12 sites, juvenile arrestees/detainees also are sampled. Generally, more than 90% of the arrestees selected for the sample agree to be interviewed and over 80% of those interviewed provide urine specimens.
Arrestees are not selected for the survey on a random or probability basis. Rather, adult male arrestees are selected at the discretion of site personnel, who are guided by a target sample size and crime charge priority system. To obtain samples of adult male arrestees with a sufficient distribution of serious arrest charges, ADAM interviewers, where possible, place a priority on felony arrestees and those arrested for offenses other than the sale or possession of drugs. Analyses have shown that those arrested for drug offenses are more likely than other arrestees to be using drugs; as a result, ADAM statistics are likely minimum estimates of drug use among the population of those adults arrested for serious offenses. With the exception of Omaha, males charged with driving offenses generally are excluded from the sample due to ADAM's emphasis on more serious crimes. (In Omaha, all male arrestees brought to the booking facilities are included in the ADAM sample to obtain a sample of sufficient size.) Because they are fewer in number, all adult female arrestees and all juvenile male and female arrestees/detainees brought to the booking center during the data collection period are included in the ADAM sample, regardless of charge.
In nine sites, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Omaha, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, the catchment area is the entire city. In Cleveland, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Indianapolis, Manhattan, Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, and San Jose, the catchment area is the entire county or parish. The catchment area for Los Angeles includes part of the city and part of the county, and in Birmingham and San Diego the catchment area includes the entire city and part of the county.
Twelve of the ADAM sites collect data from male juvenile arrestees/detainees. Eight of these sites also collect data on female arrestees/detainees; however given the small sample size across a majority of the ADAM female juvenile facilities, these data are not presented. For juveniles in each of the sites, excluding Washington, DC and St. Louis, the catchment area encompasses the county. In Washington, DC and St. Louis, only juveniles arrested and detained in the city are included. In Los Angeles, the catchment area comprises parts of the city and county.
All urine specimens are sent to a central laboratory for analysis. The specimens are analyzed for 10 drugs: cocaine, opiates, marijuana, phencyclidine (PCP), methadone, benzodiazepines, methaqualone, propoxyphene, barbiturates, and amphetamines. All positive results for amphetamines are confirmed by gas chromatography to eliminate positives that may be caused by over-the-counter drugs. For most drugs, the urine test can detect use in the previous 2 to 3 days. Exceptions are marijuana and PCP, which sometimes can be detected several weeks after use.
Beginning in 1996, the program adopted marijuana testing cutoff levels in accordance with new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration guidelines. The new cutoff level, 50 ng/ml, is lower than the previous cutoff level thus more individuals using marijuana are identified. Analysis of trends at both cutoff levels revealed that overall there is a 5 to 7 percentage point increase in positive results at the new level. Caution should be used in comparing marijuana percentages for 1996 and 1997 with results from previous years.
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