Cocaine use dropped sharply across the United States from 2006 to 2010, while the amount of marijuana consumed increased significantly during the same period, according to a study released today by Santa Monica-based RAND Corp.
Probing illegal drug use nationally from 2000 to 2010, the think tank's researchers found the amount of marijuana consumed by Americans increased by more than 30 percent from 2006 to 2010, while cocaine consumption fell by about half.
Meanwhile, heroin use was fairly stable throughout the decade studied, according to RAND.
Methamphetamine consumption dramatically increased during the first half of the decade and then declined, but researchers did not have enough information to make a credible estimate of the drug's use from 2008 to 2010.
The findings come from a report compiled for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy by researchers affiliated with the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.
"Having credible estimates of the number of heavy drug users and how much they spend is critical for evaluating policies, making decisions about treatment funding and understanding the drug revenues going to criminal organizations," said Beau Kilmer, the study's lead author and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.
"This work synthesizes information from many sources to present the best estimates to date for illicit drug consumption and spending in the United States," he said.—City News Service