Arms against illness: Crack cocaine and drug policy in the United States

Beverly Xaviera Watkins, Robert E. Fullilove, Mindy Thompson Fullilove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The emergence of crack cocaine use in the United States during the mid-1980s was one of the most significant public health problems of that era. Crack use contributed to a series of sexually transmitted disease epidemics, to epidemic increases in violent injuries and homicides, and to significant increases in the incidence and prevalence of cocaine addiction. Despite these threats to health and safety, a national public health campaign to counter crack-related morbidity and mortality was never mounted. To the contrary, the strongest response to the crack epidemic has come from the police and the courts. As a result, crack-related crimes have accounted for dramatic increases in the numbers of adolescents and adults imprisoned in the United States. Scarce attention to the public health dimensions of these policies, let alone the human rights implications, has been catastrophic for affected individuals and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalHealth and Human Rights
Volume2
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

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Crack Cocaine
drug policy
illness
Public Health
public health
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Cocaine-Related Disorders
Homicide
sexually transmitted disease
Police
Crime
Public Policy
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Health Policy
Health Promotion
addiction
morbidity
homicide
police
human rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health(social science)
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

Arms against illness : Crack cocaine and drug policy in the United States. / Watkins, Beverly Xaviera; Fullilove, Robert E.; Fullilove, Mindy Thompson.

In: Health and Human Rights, Vol. 2, No. 4, 1998, p. 43-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Watkins, Beverly Xaviera ; Fullilove, Robert E. ; Fullilove, Mindy Thompson. / Arms against illness : Crack cocaine and drug policy in the United States. In: Health and Human Rights. 1998 ; Vol. 2, No. 4. pp. 43-58.
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