Most People Arrested in Need of Drug Education Class

by Mike Miller December 26, 2011

True or false – if you get arrested you are likely to have illegal drugs in your system? The answer is true!

Up to 83% of people arrested in major cities across the United States test positive for drug use and almost one-third of all arrestees test positive for the presence of multiple substances.

Marijuana was the most commonly used drug among the arrestees booked into jails in 10 U.S. cities.

The Office of National Drug Control's (ONDCP) Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM II) study is the only federal survey that uses a urine test to confirm self-reported information about recent drug use. The 2010 survey included 4,700 males 18 years and older who were involved with the criminal justice system.

Chicago is Leader

They were being booked into county jails in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Indianapolis, IN, Minneapolis, MN, New York, NY, Portland, OR, Sacramento, CA, and Washington, DC.

The survey and drug tests for any substance showed that drug use among arrestees ranged from 52% in Washington DC to 83% in Chicago. Those who tested for multiple drugs in their system ranged from 11% in Washington DC to 38% in Sacramento.

The 2010 survey showed that for males under age 21 the use of meth and cocaine is declining, while positive tests for prescription drugs, mainly pain killers, and heroin is increasing.

Increasing Abuse of Pain Killers

More than 5% of arrestees 21 and under are being booked into jails with opioids in their blood stream. This confirms other national surveys that indicate a large increase in prescription drug abuse across all age groups.

There also has been an increase of Oxycodone and heroin use in men under the age of 21.

A Burden on Taxpayers

The number of drug users among the 40,000 who are booked into his jail every year taxes the jail's nursing staff who work around the clock every day treating withdrawal symptoms. It adds an additional financial burden to the counties.

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