Modelling the role of drug barons on the prevalence of drug epidemics

John Boscoh H. Njagarah, Farai Nyabadza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Substance abuse is a global menace with immeasurable consequences to the health of users, the quality of life and the economy of countries affected. Although the prominently known routes of initiation into drug use are; by contact between potential users and individuals already using the drugs and self initiation, the role played by a special class of individuals referred to as drug lords can not be ignored. We consider a simple but useful compartmental model of drug use that accounts for the contribution of contagion and drug lords to initiation into drug use and drug epidemics. We show that the model has a drug free equilibrium when the threshold parameter R0 is less that unity and a drug persistent equilibrium when R0 is greater than one. In our effort to ascertain the effect of policing in the control of drug epidemics, we include a term accounting for law enforcement. Our results indicate that increased law enforcement greatly reduces the prevalence of substance abuse. In addition, initiation resulting from presence of drugs in circulation can be as high as seven times higher that initiation due to contagion alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-860
Number of pages18
JournalMathematical Biosciences and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Contagion
  • Drug barons
  • Law enforcement
  • Reproduction number

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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