New Articles on Meth Markets

Section member Henry Brownstien and colleagues have recently released research on illicit drug markets in Criminal Justice Policy Review and Contexts. See below for citations and abstracts.

Brownstein, H.H., T.M. Mulch, B.G. Taylor, J. Fernandes-Huessy, & D. Woods. 2012. “The Organization and Operation of Illicit Retail Methamphetamine Markets.” Criminal Justice Policy Review 23:67-89.

Research has shown that illicit retail drug markets for different drugs vary in organization and operation. In this paper we examine illicit retail markets for a single drug, methamphetamine, and identify the variation among meth markets in different cities and counties in the United States. We present findings from a survey of police respondents from 1,367 law enforcement agencies, including a cluster analysis to distinguish types of markets. We compare measures of the structure, relationship, and dynamics of local markets in the context of the types of markets relative to the source of the meth, the severity of the local problem, and the relative maturity of the local market. We conclude that the organization and operation of meth markets in areas that are primarily supplied by local production are different from local markets supplied primarily by imported meth. We end with a discussion of policy implications and future research. This article is based on research that was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for a study of the Dynamics of Methamphetamine Markets (R21D024391).

Brownstein, H.H., T.M. Mulcahy, B.G. Taylor, J. Fernandes-Huessy, & C. Hafford. 2012. “Home Cooking: Marketing Meth.” Contexts 11:30-35.

Compared to other illicit drug markets, methamphetamine markets are distinctive in the extent to which relationships among participants are personal. This paper is based on a mixed methods study of meth markets across America starting with a survey of 1,367 police agencies followed by in-depth telephone interviews with narcotics detectives in 50 different communities and then visits to 28 towns and cities in five regions of the country to observe and interview public health and safety officials, local drug treatment providers, prevention specialists, social service workers, family service providers, meth users and dealers, and other people whose lives are impacted by meth. We observed variation in the organization and operation of local markets, but always found that dealings in meth markets are personal. To understand meth markets you need to understand the people who participate in them. This article is based on research that was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for a study of the Dynamics of Methamphetamine Markets (R21D024391).

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