Drug Treatment:

Targeting Aid to States Using Urban Population as Indicator of Drug Use

HRD-91-17: Published: Nov 27, 1990. Publicly Released: Nov 27, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the funding formula for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services (ADMS) block grant to states, focusing on whether: (1) the urban population was an effective indicator of the prevalence of drug abuse; and (2) the 1984 hold-harmless provision helped or hindered the targeting of aid to states with the greatest needs.

GAO found that studies indicated that: (1) drug abuse was somewhat more prevalent in urban areas than in rural areas; (2) cocaine use was 2 to 3 times higher in urban than in rural areas; (3) the allocation formula's use of the entire urban population to represent urban-rural differences in drug abuse rates among 18- to 24-year-olds significantly overstated those differences; (4) the allocation formula's 40-percent weight for urban populations would be appropriate for an urban incidence rate 15 times higher than the rate in nonurban areas; (5) the 40-percent weight placed on urban population affected the formula's indicators of the at-risk population, and would influence the amount of funding each state would receive, once the hold-harmless provision was phased out; and (6) the 1984 hold-harmless provision prevented a more equitable distribution of ADMS funds among states based on available indicators of state needs.

Mar 1, 2021

Feb 24, 2021

Feb 17, 2021

Feb 11, 2021

Feb 5, 2021

Jan 28, 2021

Jan 21, 2021

Looking for more? Browse all our products here