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Drug Policy: Insights from Mathematical Analysis

  • Jonathan P. Caulkins
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 70)

Summary

Illicit drugs create serious health problems whose management is complicated by illegality, poor data, and market dynamics. Quantitative analysis can and does play a key role in clarifying implications of strategic choices concerning collective response to these problems. This chapter summarizes key arguments and findings concerning the effectiveness of various prevention and treatment strategies, including supply control measures. Among them are that conventional prevention programs are not very effective in an absolute sense, but they are so cheap that they are cost-effective. Likewise, treatment programs can be cost-effective despite very high relapse rates, in part because periods of heavy use impose such enormous costs on society. Enforcement can play a key role in diffusing the positive feedback loop created by contagious spread of initiation during the early phase of new drug epidemics because of its unique ability among diverse drug control interventions to focus its impact on the present.

Key words

Drug control Optimal control Resource allocation Epidemic control 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan P. Caulkins
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Heinz School CarnegieMellon UniversityPittsburgh
  2. 2.RAND Drug Policy Research CenterPittsburgh

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