Drug Trends

Did you know that among the ages of 12-17 years of age the use first time heroin users has gone up almost four times that amount since the 1980’s? That 8.2 percent of High School Seniors have used cocaine? Even as young as the 8th grade Ecstasy has seen a 2% usage rate? The overall alcohol usage among underage drinkers has remained steady over the last 4-5 years, many believe this is from the drug and alcohol education and prevention programs that are being taught in schools.

Marijuana Trends

* Marijuana potency reached its highest recorded level in 2006, most likely attributable to improvements in outdoor and indoor cannabis cultivation methods.

* Indoor cannabis cultivation is increasing in some areas of the country as growers attempt to avoid outdoor eradication and attain higher profits through production of indoor-grown, high-potency marijuana.

* Cuban DTOs and criminal groups in the Southeast are expanding indoor grow operations northward to avoid detection and attain better access to drug markets.

* The involvement of Mexican DTOs in outdoor cannabis cultivation within the United States is expanding to eastern states–an apparent attempt to avoid heightened law enforcement pressure in western states.

* Mexican DTOs have relocated many of their cannabis cultivation operations in Mexico from traditional growing areas to more remote locations in central and northern Mexico, primarily to reduce the risk of eradication and gain more direct access to U.S. drug markets.

* Asian DTOs and criminal groups are increasingly becoming involved in marijuana trafficking in every region of the United States.

* Large quantities of marijuana seized along the Southwest Border–particularly in Arizona–are very likely the result of increased smuggling operations by Mexican DTOs and increased law enforcement efforts.

* The demand for marijuana appears to be relatively stable and declining slightly in some areas; however, many users now prefer and abuse higher-potency marijuana over commercial-grade marijuana.

More on these findings see: National Drug Intelligence Center – Marijuana Threat Assessment 2008

Ecstasy Trends

* MDMA production by Asian DTOs in Canada has increased significantly since 2004, fueling MDMA distribution by Canada-based Asian DTOs in U.S. drug markets.

* MDMA produced in Europe is distributed in U.S. drug markets, although at levels much lower than in the late 1990s.

* Domestic MDMA production is limited and will most likely remain at low levels in the near term.

More on these findings see: National Drug Intelligence Center – Ecstasy/MDMA Assessment 2008

Cocaine Trends

* Potential South American cocaine production increased in 2006 as Colombian coca growers adapted their growing practices to counter intensified coca eradication.

* The Eastern Pacific route, the primary cocaine transportation route within the Mexico-Central America Corridor, may be gaining even greater prominence in cocaine trafficking to the United States.

* Cocaine smuggling through South Texas POEs most likely accounts for a greater portion of the cocaine available in U.S. drug markets than does cocaine smuggled through any other area of the Southwest Border, despite cocaine flow through California POEs increasing sharply in 2006.

* Cocaine availability decreased in several U.S. drug markets during the first half of 2007, most likely because of a combination of factors that included large cocaine seizures in transit toward the United States, law enforcement efforts against prominent Mexican DTOs, violent conflicts between competing Mexican DTOs, and increased competition from non-U.S. markets.

* High levels of cocaine-related crime, rates of abuse, and overdose incidents are a considerable burden to the nation–a condition not likely to diminish in the near term.

More on these findings see: National Drug Intelligence Center – Cocaine Threat Assessment 2008

Alcohol Trends

IMPORTANT Facts for College StudentsÂ

* Death: 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.

* Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol.
* Assault: More than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

* Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

* Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex.

* Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.

* Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.

* Drunk Driving: 2.1 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 drove under the influence of alcohol last year.

Heroin Trends

* Overall decreases in retail purity of South American heroin and increasing retail purity of Mexican heroin may aid Mexican DTOs in expanding Mexican heroin distribution.

* Colombian DTOs increasingly rely on Mexican DTOs to smuggle South American heroin into the United States.

* The availability of Southwest Asian heroin in the United States is at a low level and will very likely remain so in the near term.

* Southeast Asian heroin remains available in certain U.S. drug markets; however, availability is limited and appears to be declining.

* Expanded opium poppy cultivation and decreased eradication in Mexico have resulted in a significant increase in the potential amount of Mexican heroin destined for the United States.

* Deaths occasioned by the abuse of fentanyl (often used in combination with heroin) have decreased sharply since spring 2006.

* The abuse of cheese heroin, which has contributed to numerous overdose deaths in Dallas, Texas, since 2005, has emerged in a few other drug markets.

More on these findings see: National Drug Intelligence Center – Heroin Threat Assessment 2008