Connecticut Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, CT Addiction Treatment Programs

Over the last 2 decades the drug situation in Connecticut has worsened and both heroin and crack cocaine have become significant problems in the State. Once renowned as a State with minimal drug problem, Connecticut has now become a major transit zone of illicit drug transfer from New York to the East coast because of Interstates 95 and 91, which link most of the North Eastern USA and Northern Canada. These interstates (also known as the New England Pipeline) intersect in New Haven and are considered a major route of drug transfer.

The major drug of abuse in Connecticut is cocaine, but heroin abuse is not far behind. The majority of users use crack cocaine because of its ready availability and cheaper price. The majority of cocaine entering Connecticut is from Columbia but at the local level, the drug is distributed by Mexican and Dominican organizations. The majority of cocaine arrives from New York City and then is spread across the North East by the same drug cartels.

Heroin rivals cocaine in use because of its easy accessibility, low price and more potency. Heroin abuse is a major epidemic in urban Connecticut. Even though the drug originates from Columbia, it is widely spread at the local level by Mexican and Dominican drug traffickers. Like cocaine, heroin is transported from New York City. The major route of transfer is via automobiles with the drugs hidden in various compartments.

Like everywhere else in North America, methamphetamine abuse is on the rise and methamphetamine laboratories have been discovered in Connecticut. The majority of methamphetamine abusers are teenagers and young adults who frequent rave parties.

Another class of drug which has been on the rise is Club drugs, the majority of which arrive from New York City. MDMA has become one of the most prevalent controlled substances encountered by law enforcement. It has become a popular drug of choice among college and high school students. The club drugs are commonly available at nightclubs, primarily in the urban areas and on college campuses. Because of the low price ($20-30 per tablet), these club drugs are commonly used at all night parties.

Marijuana is widely available in Connecticut. The majority of the commercial grade marijuana available in Connecticut comes from either Mexico or the Southwest U.S. The bulk of shipment to the State is via Courier services using various types of cargo services. Recently home grown marijuana plants have become widespread in the New Haven. These home laboratories are sophisticated and expertly wired to avoid high-electricity usage detection by utility companies. These illicit laboratories are a part of small clandestine operations growing and selling marijuana for both local and national use. Home grown marijuana is more potent and sells for as high as $4-5000 per pound.

Like everywhere in the US, illicit use of pharmaceutical drugs like oxycodone, oxycontin, benzodiazepines continues to be a major problem in Connecticut. Ritalin, Xanax and Diazepam are among the most frequently abused perted pharmaceuticals. These drugs are frequently obtained using forged prescriptions, employee theft, “doctor shopping” and online shopping.

Recently there has been an increase in the use of PCP in Connecticut. The PCP is frequently transported from Southern USA with the use of couriers. The PCP is either taken orally or smoked.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams

To counter the drug problem in the State, DEA Mobile Enforcement teams have been established. The major function of these state and local enforcement agencies is to curb the violence associated with drugs and control the spread. Together with the DEA, Regional Enforcement teams are targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This Program has helped identify and shut down numerous drug networks and control drug trafficking

State Drug, Alcohol Rehabilitation and Treatment Programs

Like California, Connecticut has now established Drug courts and drug treatment centers to allow for drug rehabilitation of drug addicts. The state run agencies have both in-patient and outpatient drug treatment programs. The Connecticut legislature has been working on issues ranging from methadone maintenance to prison reform to medical marijuana. The use of marijuana for medical reasons is currently being introduced in the State legislature. The bill will allow doctors to provide certificates to qualifying patients who they believe would benefit from the medical use of marijuana. The patient or designated caregiver would then be allowed to grow up to five plants in a secured place in their own home. The patient would have to register with the Connecticut Department of Public Health after their doctor recommended marijuana for use.

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South Carolina Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, SC Addiction Treatment Programs

South Carolina serves as both a user and a transported of illicit drugs. Recent law enforcement data indicate that the drug cartels have become very organized and use each state to store and traffic their drugs. Every type of illicit drug is available in South Carolina and because of its long coastline, large tourist industry, a large array of highways and an increasing Hispanic workforce; these factors have been thought to help the drug traffickers. Recent seizures indicate that South Carolina is a major transshipment hub for the NE corner and even into Canada. Frequent drug seizures indicate that the drug trade has not diminished and despite the increased security after 9/11, the drug and human trafficking industry is thriving.

Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is readily available throughout all parts of South Carolina. The majority of cocaine is smuggled in from the southern states and Chicago, Georgia, Florida and Texas. The cocaine is converted to crack cocaine and sold on the street. Almost all the inner cities have had their fair share of cocaine addicts, but the greatest abuse of cocaine is centered around the coastal cities. The Mexican drug cartels dominate the cocaine trafficking and use a variety of ways to smuggled the drug into the state. Land, air and sea have all been used to transport the cocaine, but the numbers have remained stable over the past decade. Associated with cocaine drug trade has been street gangs, violence, crime, thefts and inner city poverty.

Heroin

Heroin use has been steady over the past 2 decades. Despite the increasing purity, low price and availability, the drug has not seen an increase in usage. Small amounts of heroin are available in the major inner cities. The heroin is smuggled in from New York, New Jersey and Mexico. Small amounts are routinely smuggled in the by the migrant workers. Even though the heroin abuse has not increased, the hospital emergency rooms continue to report an influx of heroin related problems which usually require admission.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine use and trafficking has decline over the past decade. The majority of methamphetamine is smuggled in by the Mexican drug cartels who then use the migrant workers to help distribute it across the state. The major source of methamphetamine is from Chicago, NE, Florida, Texas, California and Georgia. Over the years, numerous clandestine laboratories have been discovered which manufacture methamphetamine.

These unsophisticated laboratories use impure and unrefined chemicals. The recent law banning the use of ephedrine has all but stopped these laboratories from manufacturing methamphetamine. The methamphetamine trade is an at all time high and associated with this has been street gangs, violence, crime thefts and inner city poverty.

Club Drugs

There has been a major increase in the use of club drugs in the state of South Carolina. All types of club drugs including MDMA, GHB, PCP, LSD and Ketamine are available at night parties and rave parties. The majority of colleges and universities have a moderate supply of club drugs. The majority of club drugs are smuggled in from New York, Canada, California and Texas. The club drug trade is basically controlled by Asian gangs. Recent seizures indicate the drugs are increasingly being smuggled in via the US parcel post services.

Recent data indicates that Atlanta has become a significant hub for MDMA distribution in South Carolina. Law enforcement agencies are attempting to infiltrate organizations distributing Ecstasy, but the cost of Ecstasy currently available on the street is hampering their efforts.

Pharmaceutical persion

Pharmaceutical drug abuse continues to rise at an exponential rate. The most commonly abused prescription drugs include oxycontin, hydrocodone, methadone, diazepam, Lortab and Xanax. Oxycontin continues the number one prescription drug abused in the state. These drugs are primarily obtained via prescription forgeries, “doctor shopping”, pharmacy break-ins and via the internet. Some of the pharmaceutical drugs are brought into South Carolina from Mexico and Southwestern Border cities. Numerous pain management clinics have opened in every major city in the State and pose an enormous threat to the communities. These pain management clinics do injustice to patients by continually prescribing narcotics to addicts.

Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana is readily available throughout South Carolina. The majority of the drug is smuggled in from the southern states. Marijuana is smuggled in large amounts in cars, vans, campers and trucks all of which have hidden compartments. In addition, the large rural area of South Carolina has also been used to grow marijuana. Marijuana is cultivated both indoors and outdoors in both private and public property. The locally made marijuana is more potent and pure than the Mexican variety and is increasingly being shipped across into Colorado and Illinois. In addition, the most potent form of marijuana, called BC Bud, and is smuggled in from Canada. The Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Program (DCE/SP) reports seizures and arrest statistics.

Money Laundering

Drug proceeds from the drug trade are increasingly smuggled back home or utilized to buy vehicles, homes, planes or even boats. The State government maintains a close vigilance on financial transactions and has the power to seize any proceeds thought to be from drug trafficking.

Substance Abuse Prevention

To counteract the drug problem DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. In addition, DEA Regional Enforcement Teams have been developed to augment existing DEA pision resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement.

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Colorado Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, CO Addiction Treatment Programs

The majority of the illicit drug trade in the State of Colorado is controlled by Mexican trafficking organizations. Almost all distribution and sell of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin is under control of secondary Mexican cartels that in turn are controlled by the Columbian Czars. Street gangs with links to bigger criminal organizations in Texas, California, and Mexico are involved in all types of drug distribution throughout the state.

The majority of methamphetamine available in Colorado arrives from Mexico or in many cases originates from large-scale laboratories in California. Because of the intense competition to sell the drug, the potency of methamphetamine produced in Mexico has become comparable to that made in smaller, more sophisticated laboratories located in the State. Underground laboratories are challenging to law enforcement in Colorado, because of their disregard for safety and lack of environmental concern. The majority of these underground laboratory chemists acquire the required:

  1. Precursor chemicals from genuine businesses such as:
    • Concession stores
    • Pharmacies
    • Chemical companies
    • Agricultural stores
    • Farming stores

Despite a step up in enforcement activities, the supply of cocaine continues to increase in the State. Drug trafficking organizations receive cocaine via a secure supply from Mexico. In addition, crack cocaine has become available in the bigger metropolitan areas of Colorado. Street level crack in various amounts is easily obtainable throughout the state and the spread is difficult to control.

Another major headache for the State is the increasing availability of club drugs. These club drugs are marketed at all levels by independent traffickers, small organizations, night clubs and even college students. Recent data indicate that these club drugs are frequently associated with other social problems including:

  • Violence
  • Pornography
  • Prostitution
  • Poverty

The control of club drugs spreading has become difficult because of the numerous inpiduals associated with the illicit sell. The major club drugs used in the State includes LSD, Ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

Current investigations indicate that the State also has a major problem with legal pharmaceutical products such as:

The illegal use of OxyContin has skyrocketed in the state. These drugs are primarily obtained with forged prescriptions, employee theft, and online pharmacies.

Marijuana is available throughout Colorado, and is the most widely abused drug in the state. The majority of marijuana is Mexican-grown and is brought into and through Colorado by the Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations. Another potent form of marijuana, known as BC Bud has now become widely available, despite being more expensive. Because of its more potent euphoric effects, the drug is now being smuggled in increasing amounts from Canada and the Pacific North.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado allows patients to use medical marijuana if they have specified medical conditions and the advice of a physician. This law was enacted in November of 2000 after voters passed Amendment 20 to the state constitution. This law provides protection against prosecution under state law, which is where the majority of marijuana small-use and possession cases occur.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams

To control the illicit drug trade and related violence, DEA mobile enforcement teams involving state and local law enforcement agencies have been established in Colorado. Since the inception, these mobile units have been involved in an increasing number of arrests and have helped in the dismantling of numerous methamphetamine trafficking organizations and clandestine laboratories. In addition, DEA regional enforcement teams have been established to target the threat by drug trafficking organizations and control the violence.

Recent Drug Reforms

Like California, Colorado is becoming an attractive breeding ground for drug policy reform. Seven years ago, the residents of Colorado overwhelmingly approved Amendment 20 to the state’s constitution, allowing the use of marijuana for medical reasons.

In 2002, the Colorado legislature approved legislation to decrease the penalties for simple possession of illegal drugs. It has been suggested that all the funds collected from drug trafficking should be used to fund drug treatment and drug rehabilitation programs.

More than a quarter of Colorado’s state prison inmates comprise of non-violent drug offenders, and millions of taxpayer dollars are used to keep them in prison. Although the new law development would affect only a small number of inmates, it will most likely save millions over the years money which has been earmarked for drug treatment. In addition, the Governor has signed legislation that will re-evaluate the State’s asset forfeiture laws.

Recently, the state legislature passed a bill to decrease jail times for drug offenders arrested with less than one gram of Schedule I and II drugs.

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Nevada Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, NV Addiction Treatment Programs

Nevada night life and entertainment has also brought in opportunities for drug traffickers. Almost all illicit drugs are available in Nevada, but methamphetamine is the most commonly abused. In addition, cocaine, marijuana, heroin and club drugs are also fast catching on. The geographical location of Nevada close to California and its long porous borders have made it an ideal place for drug traffickers; Nevada does serve as a major hub of transshipment of drugs across the United States.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is available throughout the state. The bulk of cocaine is smuggled in from California using automobiles, trucks and campers. Once brought into Las Vegas, the cocaine is re packaged and distributed throughout the state by the local cartels. Most of the powder cocaine is converted to crack cocaine which is easier to use. Most of the street gangs operate out of the numerous motels located all over the state. The crack cocaine problem has also been associated with money laundering, homicides, prostitution and inner city impoverishment.

Heroin Addiction

Mexican black tar heroin is the predominant type available in Nevada. With the recent increase in the Hispanic migrant population, there also has been a significant increase in Mexican heroin. It is believed that the drug cartels involve the poor migrant workers to help distribute the product throughout the state. The bulk of the heroin is smuggled into the state from Mexico in automobiles and trucks. With the recent arrival of Asian immigrants, the Asian variety of heroin is now also available in the state.

Methamphetamine Addiction

Like most states, methamphetamine is the most frequent drug of abuse. It is widely available throughout the state. Locally produced methamphetamine is made in clandestine laboratories. Recently large super laboratories have been identified in the state. The majority of these clandestine laboratories are run by the Mexicans. However, because of the state ban on the availability of chemicals, the locally made meth labs are far and few. Laboratories seized recently revealed large scale methamphetamine production using pseudoephedrine, red phosphorus, and iodine.

The majority of methamphetamine is smuggled in from California and the South. Organized Mexican poly-drug trafficking groups monopolize the large-scale meth trade in Nevada. Mexican produced crystal methamphetamine is the most readily available in Nevada and purity levels range from 50-90%.

Club Drugs

The night life and nocturnal entertainment has led to a sharp increase in the use of club drugs in the State. Club drugs, specifically MDMA, GHB, and LSD, are trafficked and abused in local nightclubs, adult entertainment clubs, and at raves. The trafficking of these drugs ranges from local sales within clubs or raves to larger sales between locals and the drug cartels.

Las Vegas serves as a point of importation and a transshipment area for MDMA. Most MDMA that passes through or is destined for Las Vegas continues to come primarily from southern California and New York. Law enforcement seizures reveal that Asian drug trafficking organizations are responsible for a significant amount of MDMA distribution throughout Nevada.

Marijuana Addiction

Both locally grown and Mexican smuggled marijuana is readily available in Nevada. Mexican drug trafficking organizations control most of the marijuana trade. The marijuana is brought in from California in automobiles, vans and trucks within hidden compartments. Locally grown marijuana is widely available because of the large area of forest land, marijuana is easily grown and hidden from the authorities.

Pharmaceutical Drugs

Current investigations indicate that prescription drug abuse of such drugs as OxyContin, valium, xanax, methadone, codeine, Fentanyl and Lortab continue to be a problem in Nevada. Primary methods of obtaining these drugs are from illegal sale and distribution by pharmacists, physicians, doctor shopping, forged prescription, pharmacy thefts and via the internet. Pseudoephedrine sales are reported down since a new law banned the addition of pseudoephedrine to cough mixtures.

Substance Abuse Prevention

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. The law enforcement agencies have been identifying areas of high trafficking in Nevada and have been successful at combating the influx of drug trafficking in southern Nevada. In order to alleviate the meth problem this task force also regulates and monitors domestic trafficking organizations and career criminal enterprises which are involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine and the transport and distribution of meth and precursor chemicals within and through the state.

Drug Laws

Over the past decade, Nevada has reversed its approach to marijuana offenses. In 1996 and 1998, voters approved an initiative legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana. In June of 2000, legislation recommended reducing penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use from a felony to a misdemeanor. In November of 2000, voters approved the medical marijuana initiative a second time (under Nevada law, initiatives have to be approved twice before they can take effect). In 2001, the legislature passed legislation implementing the medical marijuana initiative and decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

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California Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, CA Addiction Treatment Programs

After a decade and a half of skyrocketing drug arrests and imprisonment rates at a cost of billions of dollars, California now suffers the highest rates of drug abuse deaths in our history. With that being said, there has been no discernible impact on crime rates observed in California during that time. This finding confirms a recent United States Department of Justice Drug Policy Study that concluded:

  1. Higher rates of arrests
  2. Stricter laws
  3. More aggressive sentencing policies do not deter many drug users exposed to these penalties.

This leads to a revolving door scenario in which drug-involved offenders appear repeatedly before the courts. One study found 60 percent of opiate-dependent Federal parolees were incarcerated again within 6 months of release. Virtually all were for narcotic related crimes at an incarceration cost of more than $27,000 per person, per year.

Current Drug and Alcohol Addiction Situation

Because of California’s perse population and unique location, the drug situation in California is complicated. The majority of drugs are smuggled from Mexico, but marijuana and methamphetamine are locally produced in large quantities. San Diego and its neighboring counties remain the major source of transfer of drugs smuggled from Mexico. The cocaine brought in via Mexico is originally from Columbia but the Mexican traffickers control the cross border smuggling.

California-based law enforcement agencies primarily seize Mexico black tar heroin throughout the state and Mexican brown tar heroin to a lesser extent. Mexican black tar heroin is usually smuggled into the U.S. in amounts of five pounds or less, but occasionally law enforcement seizes larger amounts. In addition, Southeast Asian, Southwest Asian, and Colombian heroin seizures periodically occur throughout the state. The increased availability of high purity heroin that can be snorted allows a new, younger population to use heroin without a syringe and needle.

Methamphetamine is the primary drug threat in California. Mexican organizations continue to dominate the production and distribution of high-quality meth, while a secondary trafficking group operates small, unsophisticated laboratories. Clandestine laboratories can be found in any of the following locations:

  • High density residential neighborhoods sparsely populated rural areas
  • Remote desert locations in the southern portions of California
  • The forested areas in northern California

As the supply of pseudoephedrine from Canada has diminished after successful law enforcement operations, there has been a noticeable increase in pseudoephedrine and ephedrine seized that originated from China.

Mexican trafficking organizations, working closely with Colombian suppliers, dominate the wholesale cocaine trade. However, the Mexican traffickers continue to specialize in cross-border cocaine transportation by air, land and sea. Based on consistent seizures by U.S. Customs personnel (BICE), the majority of the cocaine destined for the U.S. continues to enter the country by land conveyance through the Ports of Entry along the California and Mexico border.

Los Angeles based gangs dominate the street level distribution of crack cocaine throughout the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas. Cocaine bought by the gangs is “rocked” or converted into crack cocaine in the Los Angeles area and then sold locally or distributed to other cities in California and nationally.

After Sept 11, 2001, there has been a greater screening of inpiduals and vehicles at the border crossing. This has led to more ingenious methods of drug smuggling including underground tunnels and sophisticated hidden compartments in vehicles. The majority of drugs arrive in Los Angeles which is the distribution center for most other US states. Despite the increased airport security and surveillance, at the airport, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine use is endemic in San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento.

Due to the discrepancy in national laws between the U.S. and Mexico, the prolific “border pharmacies” within walking distance across the border in Tijuana and other Mexican border towns remain the primary source of controlled substances in the San Diego metropolitan area. Doctor shopping and prescription forgery are the primary methods of prescription drug abuse in the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

Current investigations indicate that persion of Hydrocodone products such as Vicodin, and Oxycodone products such as OxyContin, continues to be a problem in California. Primary methods of persion being reported are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, “doctor shopping” (going to a number of doctors to obtain prescriptions for a controlled pharmaceutical), forged prescriptions, employee theft, pharmacy and in-transit theft, and the Internet. Fentanyl, Benzodiazepines and Codeine were also identified as being among the most commonly abused and perted pharmaceuticals in California.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams

To counter the Drug Smuggling, numerous state and federal agencies have been established in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. Numerous Mobile Enforcement teams have been established and these are located throughout the state.

DEA Regional Enforcement Teams

Besides the state enforcement agencies, the DEA has also targeted drug organizations operating in California. During the past two decades California has experienced a 25-fold increase in the number of drug offenders sentenced to state prison. As a result of this increase California led the nation in drug offender incarceration with a rate of 115 per 100,000 of the population (more than twice than national average).

This unparalleled imprisonment increase is partially attributable to rising drug arrests. These escalating drug arrests have resulted in tougher sentencing laws that have increased the pool of prison-eligible offenders and promoted incarceration as a primary response to illicit drug use.

California’s uniquely harsher approach to drug crime is founded on deterrence and incapacitation theory. Deterrence and incapacitation theory promotes increased arrests, prosecutions, and prison sentences as the primary means to dissuade drug use and reduce street crime by removing the drug-involved offender from the community.

Although California laws are established by the state legislature, arrest, prosecution and sentencing decisions are county functions. Because California counties pursued drug policy enforcement in sharply different ways, wide variations exist on how laws are implemented at the county level. Most county police and district attorney offices vigorously pursued new harsh enforcement statutes and significantly increased drug arrests and imprisonment for all forms of drug offenses including misdemeanors.

However, some counties like San Francisco, increased drug arrests and prosecutions for dealers and manufacturers but minimized severe penalties for drug possession. Although, overall, crime in California is down in the last decade, data show that stricter drug enforcement is not associated with declines in crime rates or drug use.

Over the past decade, drug policy reform in California produced some of the nation’s most progressive laws, including initiatives that allow for medical marijuana and drug treatment instead of incarceration. The Drug Policy Alliance’s four:

  1. California offices: Sacramento (California Capital Office)
  2. San Francisco (Safety First Project)
  3. Berkeley (Office of Legal Affairs)
  4. Los Angeles (Southern California Office)

Continue to be instrumental in the success of many of California’s drug policy reforms.

One of the Alliance’s main efforts in California is reducing the number of nonviolent drug offenders in the state’s jails and prisons. California embarked on the largest expansion of a state prison system in United States history during the 1980s, increasing the number of incarcerated drug offenders from 2,000 in 1980 to almost 45,000 in 1999 a 25-fold increase in just 20 years.

In the past four years, California state lawmakers improved pain management practices for doctors and patients, enabled drug treatment participants to seal records of their convictions and extended the University of California’s Medical Marijuana Research Program.

Justice Department research also concluded that drug treatment is effective even with the most hardened addicts. Studies show that concerted efforts towards treatment can reduce drug use and drug related crime by over 40 percent.

Given the continued emphasis in California on law enforcement strategies despite the dearth of evidence showing effectiveness, future drug policy research should examine the political basis of current approaches. Questions to examine are whether current policies are better designed to accommodate vested interest groups and political agendas than to serve as a reasonable solution to the legitimate social issue of drug abuse.

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Alaska Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, AK Addiction Treatment Programs

Due to its non-central location compared with the rest of the United States and common border with Canada, Alaska has become a transit zone for drug smugglers. The state also has become a major consumer of illicit drugs despite is remote location. The majority of the drug trade is carried out by the Mexican and Dominican drug organizations or cartels.

Over the past 2 decades, Alaska has seen some of the highest per capital use of controlled drugs and large drug seizures have become common. Associated with the illicit drug trade is one of the highest incidences of alcoholism, money laundering, violence, rape and suicide when compared to the rest of the United States.

The major drug trafficked in Alaska is crack cocaine. The trafficking is usually done by the Mexican and Dominican organizations. The cocaine originates from the Southern USA arriving via South America. Because of Alaska’s remote location and difficulty bringing in drugs, the drug cartels resell cocaine at exorbitant prices. In addition to cocaine, black tar heroin is also available in Alaska. The spread of this drug is done by the Mexican organizations.

Today, Oxycontin and methamphetamine have replaced heroin as the drug of abuse. Like all other states, methamphetamine abuse has become an epidemic in Alaska because of its easy availability and cheap price. To counter the methamphetamine abuse, legislation has been passed to remove pseudoephedrine from cold remedies. This legal maneuver has helped decrease the abuse of methamphetamine. Drug trafficking organizations obtain the majority of methamphetamine for sale in Alaska from the Southern USA and transport it across state lines using various couriers systems.

Club Drugs are also becoming widely abused in Alaska and the business is very profitable for the traffickers. The club drugs are easily available at most night clubs. Club Drugs are also the drugs of choice for abuse among college students.

Marijuana is the most abused and widespread drug in Alaska. Unlike other states, Bill HB49 has been introduced which re-criminalizes the use and possession of marijuana. The majority of marijuana is home grown in sophisticated laboratories. However, the potent and more pure form of marijuana known as BC Bud continues to be smuggled in from Canada.

Prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused drugs. These drugs are easily accessed by illegal dispensing; prescribing by physicians or pharmacists, prescription forgery, doctor shopping, drug thefts from pharmacies and online sales. The drugs most commonly abused include oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan), Hydrocodone ( Vicodin, Lortab), and anabolic steroids.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams

To counter the drug traffickers, various DEA mobile enforcement teams have been established in Alaska. This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts were established in response to the escalating problem of drug-related violent crime in the State. While these mobile units have not eradicated the drug problem, they certainly have led to more arrests of criminals and gangs.

Alaska has recently allowed patients to use medical marijuana if they have specified medical conditions, a state registry ID card and the advice of a physician. Caregivers must also have the ID cards to avoid prosecution for distribution of marijuana. This law was enacted in March of 1999 after voters passed Ballot Measure #8. However, a proposal is now being considered to overturn the state’s lenient marijuana laws.

To assist victims of drug abuse, the State is now using money collected from drug traffickers to pay for Drug Rehabilitation and Drug Treatment Programs. A few in-patient drug programs and outpatient drug programs have been established to help the victims.

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Arizona Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, AZ Addiction Treatment Programs

Being directly North of Mexico has meant that Arizona has become a major port of drug entry into the United States. Despite aggressive policing and an inhospitable terrain, steep mountain ranges, sparse population the Mexican border remains ideal for the drug smugglers. Because of its location, Arizona serves as a route for most drug smuggling and interstate shipment. The drug smuggling is carried out by well-organized Cartels ran by the Mexican and Columbians. These hierarchical groups are ruthless, organized and have an abundance of money to finance their illegal trade.

Cocaine Addiction

Both Phoenix and Tucson are fast becoming major transshipment points for cocaine distribution from Arizona throughout the United States. Cocaine is shipped in from Colombia by air, land and sea to controlled regions in Mexico. From there it is then transported to mobile staging areas across the long Arizona or Mexico border.

From the border, rapid transportation groups align with the Mexican smugglers and bring cocaine into Arizona typically utilizing commercial trucks, private vehicles, animal caravans and backpackers. Because of the long border and lack of law enforcement, large quantities of cocaine are smuggled across the border on a regular basis. Once inside the State, the cocaine is repackaged in to smaller loads and rapidly distributed via the interstates

Heroin Addiction

Mexican black tar heroin is commonly found in Arizona. Heroin is smuggled into Arizona primarily through Arizona’s multiple Ports of Entry by backpackers, pedestrians or within hidden compartments in automobiles. Because of the read availability and decreased price, there is an abundance of available heroin in the State. A major concern over the years has been the increasing presence of heroin available among school children and public schools.

Methamphetamine

Both local and Mexican produced methamphetamine is easily available in Arizona. The majority of methamphetamine is smuggled from Mexico via courier services. Methamphetamine is also locally developed in numerous clandestine laboratories throughout the state. Both the local and imported amphetamine present great challenges to law enforcement. Arizona serves as a major distribution center for Mexican methamphetamine smuggled across the border and serves as a distribution point for most Midwest cities. The large terrain, rural and mountainous area makes policing difficult.

Marijuana Addiction

Like all States, marijuana is easily available and widely used in Arizona. Seizures of large quantities of marijuana by custom officials is not unusual. The majority of seizures occur at border crossings. Large quantities are smuggled in via “mules” across the remote and rugged Arizona terrain. Large scale marijuana is also smuggled using tractor-trailers as well as refrigerated utility trucks and transported across the State.

Pharmaceutical persion

Data from methadone registered clinics indicate that more than 50% of new admissions for treatment are related to use of pharmaceutical drugs. Over the past few years, Arizona has been witnessing a steady increase in the abuse of OxyContin. Oxycodone products, Vicodin, Percodan and Soma. These commonly prescribed pain medications are heavily abused by all groups and ages. Illegal methods of obtaining these prescription drugs include:

  • Doctor shopping
  • Forged prescription
  • pharmacy break-ins
  • Via the internet

In addition, these prescription controlled drugs are also smuggled in from Mexico and via internet shipments of controlled substances from foreign source websites. Lately, the DEA has clamped down on most internet drug sites but the abuse of these drugs is still rampant.

Drug Seizures

Drugs and cash seizures are common along the Arizona highways. The bulk of the drugs and money are smuggled in passenger cars with hidden compartments. Despite the heighten security at airports, drug smugglers still use this method to transport drugs. The couriers use novel and ingenious methods of concealments. Because of the associated money laundering associated with drug crime, the drug enforcement agency regularly monitors both In and out of state money transfers

Drug Monitoring and Control

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established within the state in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the State. Law enforcement agencies continue to receive and monitor information on the use of subterranean tunnels to transfer both narcotics and undocumented migrants across the border. Many tunnels have been detected over the last decade but because of the wide spread unguarded border, limited law enforcement personnel it has been difficult to monitor the development of new tunnels, making this a primary transit point for narcotics and immigrants being smuggled from Mexico into the United States.

Legislation

Arizona established a law in l996 that allows physicians to prescribe any Schedule I drug (including marijuana). The patient must be seriously ill and have a recommendation for that drug from a second physician on file. Because the Food and Drug Administration regulates such prescriptions, physicians cannot prescribe Schedule I drugs unless they have prior approval from the federal government.

A decade ago, Arizona became the first state to employ comprehensive drug policies. That proposal, also known as the Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996, mandates that non-violent drug offenders arrested for simple possession or use of an illegal drug must receive drug treatment instead of jail time for their first and second offenses. It also allows doctors to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use when it becomes legal to do so under federal law.

This new law has managed to save Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars both in terms of treatment and imprisonment costs. The majority of the offenders tested drug-free after completing the program. The Supreme Court concluded, “The Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996 has allowed the judicial branch to build an effective probation model to treat and supervise substance abusing offenders. . . . All of these factors are resulting in safer communities and more substance abusing probationers in recovery.”

Arizona Appellate Court Judge Rudy Gerber reports, “[Proposition 200] is doing more to reduce drug use and crime than any other state program and saving taxpayer dollars at the same time.”

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Oregon Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, OR Addiction Treatment Programs

Facts from 2008 shows that the illicit drug market in Oregon is dominated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Oregon serves as a trans-shipment spot for controlled substances that are smuggled in from Mexico to Washington and Canada. Trends recently also show that Oregon is becoming a trans-shipment spot for substances smuggled from Mexico to various states east of Oregon such as Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, and New York.

Marijuana and ecstasy from Canada also travel through Oregon on route to other U.S. locations.

The supply of methamphetamine and cocaine were disrupted in 2007 as well as doubling the prices of the drugs in Oregon because of enforcement operations in the United States and Mexico. In Oregon, the drug trafficking organizations participate in money laundering, using a variety of ways to legitimize and reposition illicit proceeds.

Cocaine

Cocaine can be found throughout Oregon. Crack cocaine can be found in some urban areas, but the powder form of cocaine is most prevalent. Cocaine is a very powerful and addictive stimulant that affects the brain. A form of cocaine that has been processed to form a substance that is smoked is called crack.

Heroin

Mexican black tar heroin is the most common form of heroin found in Oregon. Throughout Oregon, the distribution and transportation of brown powdered heroin and Mexican black tar are controlled mainly by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Produced in Mexico, Black tar heroin is transported from the Southwest Border states directly to Oregon.

Methamphetamine

In the state of Oregon, methamphetamine is one of the most widely abused controlled substances and it is extremely easy to find. Powder meth in the past was the most common form. Due to apprehending the drug, ‘ice’ (or crystal) meth appears to be the most widely abused. Crystal meth is a more potent form of methamphetamine.

Several laws were enacted by Oregon legislators directed at reducing methamphetamine availability and local production. In July 2006, products that contained ephendrine and pseudoephedrine became Schedule III drugs. Both ephendrine and pseudoephedrine are precursor chemicals used in methamphetamine manufacturing.

The most abused illegal drug in Oregon is marijuana. It is also extremely available. Trafficking, abuse, and cultivation are a critical threat. Medical marijuana initiatives within the state have created more challenges as local producers use these laws to hide their illegal activity. Large quantities are produced locally but Mexico and Canada are also a source for marijuana coming into Oregon. Thousands of plants have been found in large indoor and outdoor growing operations on private, state, and forest lands. Large outdoor grows of marijuana have become much more common and they are operated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

Pharmaceutical Drugs

Prescription drugs are the second most abused drugs by youths in the United States. The primary ways of obtaining legitimate prescription drugs continues to be illegal dispensing and prescribing by physicians, illegal distribution by pharmacists, prescription forgery, doctor shopping, and drug thefts from pharmacies, nursing homes, and hospitals. Pharmacy burglaries are prevalent throughout the state.

Other pharmaceutical drugs that are a concern due to abuse and trafficking are oxycodone such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan) Hydrocodone ( Vicodin, Lortab) and anabolic steroids are also a concern. Methadone use has increased dramatically.

References
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

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Arkansas Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, AR Addiction Treatment Programs

For a laid back State, the availability and rate of drug abuse in Arkansas continues to sky rocket coinciding with the smuggling of methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana, as the drugs of choice, for local consumption. Smuggling via the interstates remains the major route of transport of all drugs into Arkansas. This is confirmed by the vast amounts of drugs seized on Arkansas interstates. However, commercial air and bus services still remain a viable route for smugglers.

Cocaine Addiction

Crack and powder cocaine abuse continues to be a problem in the State. Associated with cocaine abuse, is the social impact on the surrounding communities. Violent crimes, homicides and thefts by street gangs continue to increase and destabilize the communities. The easy availability of cocaine and the rapid transport of the drug has made crack cocaine available to many rural areas also.

Crack’s exponential growth and abuse is partly credited to the drug’s wide availability, cheaper price, and ease of conversion from powdered cocaine. Population studies reveal that there are large numbers of inpiduals who have become addicted to crack cocaine in the State. Cocaine is usually smuggled into the State from Texas as a powder in large quantities, whereas crack is brought in smaller multi-ounce packages. Drug law enforcement intelligence documents that the drug cartels are well organized, violent and integrated with numerous local distributors. The drug cartels not only provide drugs for the State of Arkansas, but also distribute across into other states.

Heroin is not a significant problem in Arkansas. Despite being brought into the State in high quantities, the majority is for distribution to the North.

Methamphetamine Addiction

The manufacture and use of methamphetamine continues to be a problem all over the state. The widespread rural area and difficulty in policing have encouraged the development of laboratories in the countryside. Clandestine laboratories are spread throughout the state and detection has proven difficult. In addition, large scale methamphetamine is regularly smuggled in from Mexico. The state has legislated laws which now control the retail use of pseudoephedrine and this has helped decrease illegal laboratories from getting to the precursor chemicals. The new law limits the sale of these substances in limited quantities and all buyers are identified and placed on a registry

Law enforcement authorities have been concerned about the added safety hazards about the illegal laboratories and environmental pollution, explosions, fire hazards and generation of hazardous waste remains a major problem. Seizures of these illegal laboratories always possess a danger because of the presence of hazardous chemicals.

The majority of methamphetamine is smuggled from Mexico and the supply appears unlimited. The Mexican drug cartels are highly organized with numerous “mules” for smuggling the drugs and distributing it across America.

Club Drugs

Club Drug abuse continues to be on an increase in every State. Statistics indicate that in the last decade there has been an exponential increase in arrests, overdoses, trafficking and rapes in Arkansas. All club drugs including Ecstasy, LSD, and Ketamine are easily available on college campuses and at night clubs. The number one club drug abused is ecstasy but GHB use is a close second.

Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana is both locally produced and also imported from Mexico. It has continued to be the drug of choice and the demand is increasing. Arkansas’s natural warm climate and large rural areas provide a great opportunity for the drug traffickers to produce domestic marijuana. Domestically produced marijuana is also cultivated indoors in well-developed greenhouses. In the rural areas, marijuana farms are usually numerous. To counter this, air surveillance by law enforcement personnel has intensified and thus the outdoor sites have become smaller and more scattered. Government led asset forfeiture has driven growers to employ leased hunting land or national forest land as cultivation sites. Since the State legislated an aggressive approach to curbing marijuana growth, user demands have increased and imported marijuana continues to be a major problem. Imported marijuana, mainly from the South is inexpensive but not as pure or potent as the home grown stuff. The majority of Mexican marijuana is brought in by commercial vehicles in hidden compartments.

Although marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine receive the most attention in the State, clubs drugs which are equally addictive and just as dangerous have become the drugs of the decade. Club drugs continue to be a state wide problem and their use has been increasing among college students and at “rave” parties. LSD, methamphetamine, Gamma-hydroxy butyrate, Ketamine, (MDMA or Ecstasy) and Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) are all prevalent in the State. MDMA is the most prevalent and popular club drug in Arkansas.

Pharmaceuticals

Abuse of pharmaceutical drugs continues to be a major problem, of which oxycontin and Vicodin top the list. The majority of users are in the 20-30s. The drugs are typically obtained using forged prescriptions, doctor shopping and via internet.

Drug Organizations

Drug trafficking organizations are one of the most challenging problems encountered by the Law. Within the state, there are Mexican and Dominican cartels who smuggle drugs both into and out of the state. The majority of drugs arriving in to Arkansas come from the South of the border via couriers.

Like most states, Arkansas is experiencing an increase in drug and gang related crime. The gangs have developed to control the drug trade and are very territory oriented. Once limited to the major cities, the gangs are now found throughout the state and have infiltrated the housing projects, using violence to resolve territorial disputes and personal feuding.

As expected, money laundering is an associated problem with drug related crime. The state of Arkansas has set up local, regional and international methods to detect “drug related money”. Law enforcement agencies within Arkansas are pursuing legal efforts in an attempt to prevent the money laundering activities of these trafficking organizations.

Since the majority of the illicit drugs are from outside Arkansas, the state Government carefully monitors bank transactions from outside the State. Recent legislation has provided more power to the US Attorney’s office to seize any money that may have been obtained from drug trafficking.

Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment

To counter the drug problem the state has established DEA mobile Enforcement Teams. This program was primarily developed to counter the increasing drug related crime and has had some success. In addition, DEA regional enforcement teams augment the support by targeting drug organizations both locally and across the nation.

In 2004, The Arkansas legislature has passed a bill called the “Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act.” The measure has allowed the creation of state identification cards for medical marijuana users, who would be allowed to use the drug without being arrested or prosecuted for it. The patient or their “marijuana provider” could legally possess, grow and transport up to six plants or one ounce of usable marijuana per person.

Further proposals are being enacted to limit prison time for first time offenders who carry small amount of marijuana. In addition, money obtained from drug seizures is now being perted to the development of Alcohol Treatment and Drug Rehabilitation Facilities to help curb Drug Addictions. The lessons learned from Arizona are now being applied to the state of Arkansas.

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Utah Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, UT Addiction Treatment Programs

The drug trafficking and smuggling in the state of Utah is principally controlled by Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations. These organizations interact at both the wholesale and street level and play a major role in the drug transfer in the NW corner of the United States. Because of the large land area, sparse population and the dominant mountaintainous landscape, drug trafficking is a lot easier in this state. All types of illicit drugs are smuggled in and out of the state, chiefly using land transport systems.

Cocaine Addiction

Like everywhere else in the US, cocaine is widely available in Utah. The whole sale distribution is controlled by the Mexicans and the street level trade is controlled by the vast migrant population. Large quantities have been seized along the Utah highways which indicate that the cocaine trade is alive in the state. Once the cocaine is brought into the state, it is converted to crack cocaine and sold on the streets. Despite the low level of purity, the cocaine trade has remained stable in Utah.

Heroin Addiction

Heroin has become a major problem over the past 2 decades. Both the brown heroin and black tar heroin variety is available throughout the state. The heroin is chiefly smuggled in from the South, California and Illinois. The Mexican poly cartels control the heroin trade. Street level distribution is controlled by several gangs who have integrated with the dominant drug organizations. Associated with heroin abuse, has been a large increase in health related problems and frequent admissions to the emergency rooms. The purity and price of heroin has remained relatively stable over the past decade.

Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine is the most common drug abused in Utah. Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations control the distribution of methamphetamine, most of which is produced in Mexico and California. With a large number of drug traffickers involved in the synthesis of methamphetamine, the purity and potency of the drug have declined in the last decade.

Locally made methamphetamine and clandestine laboratories have significantly declined since the Utah legislation passed a bill to ban the availability of precursor chemicals like ephedrine. Most of the locally made methamphetamine is made of impure chemicals and plus the laboratories present a great fire hazard to the surrounding areas. Seizures of methamphetamine indicate that the drug is widely smuggled in Utah and used by numerous ethnic groups.

Club Drugs

The use of club drugs has remained steady over the past decade. These are the most frequent drugs of abuse among college students and are easily found at night clubs, raves and parties. MDMA (Ecstasy), Ketamine, Rohypnol, LSD, and GHB. GHB and MDMA are all easily available and have become the drugs of choice for young inpidual’s at all economic levels. The majority of club drugs are smuggled in from California, Texas and Florida. The lucrative business is now being infiltrated by counterfeit pills. Asians trafficking groups control the majority of club drug distribution in Utah.

Marijuana Addiction

The majority of marijuana available in the state is smuggled in from Mexico. The drug is smuggled in via trucks, vans and campers. Because of the large rural and mountainous area, locally home grown marijuana plots have also been increasing in the past 2 decades. Sophisticated indoor hydroponic grown marijuana is also increasingly available throughout the state. Marijuana is also imported in large amounts from Canada, Texas, Florida and Washington.

Pharmaceutical Drugs

The abuse of pharmaceutical drugs continues to rise at an exponential rate. The most commonly abused prescription drugs include oxycontin, hydrocodone and Xanax. These drugs are primarily obtained via prescription forgeries, “doctor shopping”, pharmacy break-ins and via the internet. Some of the pharmaceutical drugs are brought into Utah from Mexico and Southwestern Border cities. Numerous pain management clinics have opened in every major city in the State and pose an enormous threat to the communities. These pain management clinics do injustice to patients by continually prescribing narcotics to addicts. Utah has also seen an increase in the distribution and abuse of steroids. Steroids are usually obtained via the Internet and received via postal shipping services.

Money Laundering

Associated with drug trafficking is money laundering. Cash intensive businesses, such as restaurants, bars and nightclubs, shipping industry, casinos and tourism have all at some time been exposed to “drug” money. The legislature has endorsed laws to monitor all financial exchanges and banks are required by law to notify authorities of large transfer of money.

To counteract the drug problem DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. In addition, DEA Regional Enforcement Teams have been developed to augment existing DEA pision resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement.

Drug Laws

In November of 2000, the Utah Property Protection Act passed a bill which prevented law enforcement from seizing property from an inpidual even without bringing charges against the person. The initiative required law enforcement to prove a person’s guilt before any property can be seized. The law also re-appropriated all asset forfeiture seizures to go to public school funds. Previously, law enforcement kept all of the property and money, creating potentially corrupting incentives and bypassing legislative appropriations processes.

In 2004, The Utah Property Protection Act was introduced. The move was supported by prosecutors and law enforcement officials who had lost money from the new law. Drug policy reformers managed to beat back this bill during the 2003 legislative session, but could not do so in 2004.

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