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Alabama became the twenty-second state in the United States on December 14, 1819. The 2010 resident census population reports that 4,779,736 people currently reside in Alabama. Additional info from the 2010 resident census population breaks down the residential ratio as follows - Male: 2,320,188; Female: 2,459,548. White: 3,275,394 (68.5%); Black: 1,251,311 (26.2%); American Indian: 28,218 (0.6%); Asian: 53,595 (1.1%); Other race: 96,910 (2.0%); Two or more races: 71,251 (1.5%); Hispanic/Latino: 185,602 (3.9%). The 2010 percent population 18 and over: 62.5%; 65 and over: 14.1%; average age of residents: 37.9. The state capital is Montgomery, AL and their state nickname is the Yellowhammer State.

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This week's topic is:

Alabama Drug Use Trends

Profiles of substance abuse findings among residents in all states are regularly issued by both state and federal agencies who document this information typically on a yearly basis. The most recent findings in Alabama are not very encouraging. This of course points to the need for quality drug rehab solutions in the area for anyone who needs it, of any age, with any level of problem in the state.

Current use of alcohol within the past 30-days has increased in Alabama from 2006-2007 (40%) to 2011-2012 (43.2%) among residents ages 12 and older. It was also found that an estimated 14% of college graduates and 21.5% of adults aged 18 to 24 participated in binge drinking in Alabama in 2012. In 2012 in Alabama, the highest percentage of fatal crashes involving alcohol-impaired driving occurred from midnight to 2:59 am followed by 3 am to 5:59 am.

The percent of Alabama adults who used illicit drugs other than marijuana, which includes cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically, remained about the same between 2007 and 2012. Between 2007 and 2012, statistics show that more Alabama residents in the 18-25 year age group reported use of drugs other than marijuana than the 26 and older age group.

From 2003 to 2013, the percentage of High School students in Alabama who reported use of heroin in their lifetime increased from 2.6% to 5.3%. Between 2003 and 2013, an estimated 9% of Alabama boys and 7% of girls reported trying marijuana before age 13. Between 2005 and 2013, there was an increase in the percentage of female use of marijuana before the age of 13 in Alabama, from 4.5% to 7%, and a decrease for males from 14% to 9%.

Between 2008 and 2010 in Alabama, the percentage of current alcohol use among residents ages 12 to 17 (13.0%) and 18 and older (48.6%) plus current binge alcohol use in ages 12-17 was highest in Region 2 of the state which includes Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Jefferson, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, and Tuscaloosa counties.

Between 2008 and 2010 in Alabama, the percentage of alcohol dependence/abuse in the past year was highest in Region 3 of the state which includes Autauga, Bullock, Chambers, Choctaw, Dallas, Elmore, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Lee, Macon, Marengo, Montgomery, Pike, Perry, Russell, Sumter, Tallapoosa, and Wilcox counties.

In 2011, the death rate among Alabama residents of alcohol-induced causes was 5.2 per 100,000 people. Between 2006 and 2010, the leading chronic causes of alcohol attributable deaths in Alabama were liver cirrhosis (172) and alcoholic liver disease (149). The leading chronic cause of years of potential life lost in Alabama between 2006 and 2010 was alcoholic liver disease (3,794) and liver cirrhosis (3,625).

In Alabama in 2012, 21% of drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. And in 2013, there were 23,114 arrests in Alabama for alcohol violations, with DUI accounting for 45% of those offenses, followed by public drunkenness (40%), and liquor law violations (15%).

In 2013, the percent of Alabama youth who reported riding in a car with a driver who had been drinking alcohol was comparable among 6th through 12th graders. 12th grade students (33.7%) had a higher percentage of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol in the past 30 days than 9th grade students (24.9%). Black 9th -12th grade students (31.7%) in Alabama were statistically more likely than White 9th -12th grades students (22.2%) to ride with a driver who have been drinking alcohol.

Alabama 9th -12th grade students are likely than their counterparts nationally to report any use in their lifetime of the following drugs: Inhalants, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Steroids without a Doctor's Prescription, and Injection of Illegal Drugs. Between 2011 and 2013 in Alabama, there were an increase in the percentage of Alabama 9th -12th grade students who ever took prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription from 15.0% to 17.9%.

In Alabama in 2013, 10,930 people were arrested for drug violations which involve the illegal sale, possession, manufacture, use, cultivation, etc. of narcotic and non-narcotic drugs, 20% of which were for sale of drugs and 80% were for possession.

Between 2006 and 2009, the rate of drug-induced causes of deaths in Alabama increased from 10.1 per 100,000 persons to 14.5 per 100,000 persons.

Additionally, 27.1% of Alabama students in 9th grade reported they offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property and 22.5% of 10th graders, 25.9% of 11th graders and 25.3% of 12th graders likewise reported this which shows that Alabama high students are statistically more likely than their national counterparts to be offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property.

Population in Alabama:4,557,808
State Prison Population in Alabama:25,887
Probation Population in Alabama:36,795
Violent Crime Rate in Alabama;
National Ranking:22
2007 Federal Drug Seizures Alabama
Cocaine seized in Alabama :258.8 kgs.
Heroin seized in Alabama:0.1 kgs.
Methamphetamine seized in Alabama:8.0 kgs.
Marijuana seized in Alabama:906.7 kgs.
Hashish seized in Alabama:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seized in Alabama:0.0 kgs.
Meth Lab Incidents in Alabama:127
(DEA, state, and local)
Drug Situation Alabama:
The drug threat in Alabama is the widespread.
Availability and abuse of illegal drugs in Alabama arriving from outside the state, along with its homegrown marijuana and the increasing danger of local manufacture of methamphetamine and designer drugs in Alabama.
  • Conventional drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana comprise the bulk of drugs arriving in and shipped through Alabama.
  • Colombian, Mexican, and Caribbean Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs), regional DTOs, as well as local Alabama DTOs and casual or one-time traffickers are responsible for the transportation of these drugs.
  • Additionally, Mexican, Caribbean and regional DTOs have extensive distribution networks within the State of Alabama.
  • Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in Alabama are also supplying methamphetamine on a very limited basis through their own distribution network Alabama. Local production of methamphetamine is on the rise in Alabama.

  • Law Enforcement agencies throughout Alabama report cocaine closely behind methamphetamine, as a significant threat.
  • Cocaine is widely available throughout the state of Alabama.
  • Most of the cocaine is transported into Alabama from the Houston, Texas or Atlanta, Georgia areas.
  • Wholesale distributors transport it into Alabama in its powder form, the majority of which is converted into crack after arriving in Alabama.
  • DTOs responsible for transporting the cocaine into Alabama are mostly Mexican DTOs and to a lesser extent African American DTOs. The Mexican DTOs are responsible for transporting much larger loads of cocaine than the African American DTOs.
  • The northern and southern regions of Alabama are supplied mostly from sources of supply in Houston, Texas. The central part of Alabama receives most of its cocaine from Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Over the past year, the presence of heroin has increased in Alabama.
  • Heroin is available in certain areas of Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama as well as Montgomery and Auburn, Alabama in limited quantities.
  • Information regarding the heroin problem in Alabama has been provided by confidential sources and substantiated by the increase in the number of patients in Alabama admitted to clinics for treatment.
  • The number of patients admitted to treatment for heroin addiction in Alabama has more than doubled in some areas.
  • Heroin is transported into Alabama via private and commercial vehicles. At the present time, there is limited or no intelligence as to any specific organizations that are responsible for the distribution of heroin in Alabama.

  • For the second year, methamphetamine has been identified by law enforcement as the number one drug threat in Alabama.
  • Methamphetamine production in Alabama has seen a substantial decrease as a direct result of the restricting of psuedoehpedrine sales; however, it remains the most significant threat in Alabama as Mexican DTOs increased the total quantity available.
  • The number of methamphetamine labs seized in 2005 in Alabama was approximately 20% fewer than in 2004.
  • A more pure form of the drug known as "ice" has replaced the methamphetamine previously produced in the "mom and pop" labs in Alabama.
  • Virtually all of the methamphetamine coming into Alabama is brought in by Mexican DTOs from Mexico and Texas and distribution points in Atlanta, Georgia. There are independent dealers who obtain lesser amounts in Atlanta for personal use with a small amount for distribution to cover the expense of the drugs.

  • "Club Drug" abuse and distribution among young people is on the rise in Alabama.
  • Increases in arrests, overdoses, and seizures of these designer drugs in Alabama have been reported and indicate a trend toward increased availability and trafficking in Ecstasy, LSD, and Ketamine in Alabama.
  • MDMA, LSD, GHB, and Ketamine are readily available throughout the state of Alabama, more commonly found on college campuses and at venues.
  • In Alabama GHB and MDMA have emerged as the club drugs of choice and the end-users are young Caucasians at all economic levels but users are particularly college students and rave participants.

  • The use and distribution of Ecstasy has continued to increase in Alabama.
  • Intelligence reports indicate the sources of supply for Ecstasy in Alabama include Miami, Florida; Germany; Auburn, Alabama; and Nashville, Tennessee with most coming from Atlanta, Georgia.
  • While Ecstasy is still the number one "club" drug of choice, GHB and the analogs are growing. GHB has become a significant threat in Alabama.
  • Investigations have revealed solvents that contain GHB analogs are being obtained from the Internet. GHB overdoses have been reported in the Ozark/Dothan, Birmingham, Auburn, Mobile, Huntsville, and Decatur areas of Alabama.
  • LSD, which can be found in many forms, has not seen a large increase of abuse in Alabama over the past several years.

  • Marijuana is the most widely abused and available drug in Alabama.
  • The large, rural areas in Alabama contribute heavily to the large quantities of marijuana produced in the state.
  • The Alabama Marijuana Eradication Program seized 91,614 plants in 2005. Mexican DTOs are responsible for the majority of bulk marijuana transported into Alabama. Local independent dealers and African American DTOs distribute marijuana in the local retail market in Alabama.

  • Other drugs of abuse seen in Alabama are MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB and Psilocybin.
  • The abuse of these drugs has not increased over the past year; however, methamphetamine "ice" appears to be replacing ecstasy as the "club drug" of choice in Alabama.
  • The abuse of MDMA and GHB is greater in the areas of Alabama where universities or colleges are located. These drugs are brought into the state via private, rental, and commercial vehicles. There has been a report of steroid use in these same areas of Alabama.

  • In Alabama hydrocodone was the most abused pharmaceutical drug in 2005.
  • Other drugs commonly diverted and abused in Alabama were Oxycontin and Vicodin.
  • In Alabama the average age of a first time user of an opiate drug is between 15 and 22.
  • Alabama created a law to assist in curbing "doctor shopping" by implementing a Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).
  • Pharmaceuticals are transported into Alabama mostly by private vehicle. In Alabama these drugs are also obtained through forged prescriptions and "doctor shopping." An increasing problem is the obtaining of pharmaceutical drugs via the internet.

  • Mexican and African American DTOs are major transporters and distributors of illegal drugs in Alabama.
  • In Alabama organizations consisting of street gangs and motorcycle gangs may be contributing to the local Alabama drug trade; however, Alabama law enforcement does not have statistics to support this.
  • Local groups and individuals according to Alabama law enforcement are responsible for the distribution and sometimes trafficking of illegal drugs in Alabama.

  • Money laundering continues to pose a threat in Alabama, especially in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama.
  • The most obvious businesses utilized are used car lots and Mexican restaurants in Alabama.
  • These businesses tend to be cash-intensive and lend well to the laundering of illegal proceeds from illicit drug trafficking in Alabama.
  • An ongoing investigation has identified several Mexican restaurants in Alabama and Florida utilized to launder illegal drug proceeds.

  • A cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. Since the inception of the MET Program, 473 deployments have been completed nationwide, resulting in 19,643 arrests. There have been ten MET deployments in the State of Alabama since the inception of the program: Selma, Pritchard, Alabaster, Enterprise, Gadsden, Anniston, Bessemer, Green/Tuscaloosa Counties, Mobile/Prichard, and Brent/Fairfield, Alabama.

  • This program was designed to augment existing DEA division resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This Program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States. As of January 32005, there have been 27 deployments nationwide, and one deployment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, resulting in 671 arrests. There have been no RET deployments in the State of Alabama.

State Policy Offices : Alabama

  • Governor's Office Governor's Legal Office
    Alabama State Capitol
    600 Dexter Avenue
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (205) 242-7120
  • State Legislative Contact Legislative Reference Service
    State House, Room 613
    11 South Union Street
    Montgomery, AL 36130-6701
    (205) 242-7560
  • State Drug Program Coordinator Governor's Office of Drug Abuse Policy
    State House, Room 234
    11 South Union Street
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (205) 261-7126

State Criminal Justice Offices : Alabama

  • Attorney General's Office State House
    11 South Union Street
    Montgomery, AL 36130-1801
    (205) 242-7300
  • Law Enforcement Planning Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs
    Law Enforcement Planning Section
    P.O. Box 250347
    Montgomery, AL 36125-0347
    (205) 242-5891
  • Statistical Analysis Center Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center
    770 Washington Avenue, Suite 350
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (205) 242-4900
  • Uniform Crime Reports Contact Uniform Crime Reports Program
    Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center
    858 South Court Street
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (205) 832-4930
  • BJA Strategy Preparation Agency Alabama Department of Economic and Community
    Law Enforcement Planning Section
    P.O. Box 250347
    Montgomery, AL 36125-0347
    (205) 242-5891
  • Judicial Agency Administrative Office of Courts
    Executive Plaza 1
    817 South Court Street
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (205) 834-7990
  • Corrections Agency Department of Corrections
    Gordon Persons Building, Third Floor
    50 Ripley Street
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (205) 242-9400

State Health Offices : Alabama

  • RADAR Network Agency Alabama Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation
    Substance Abuse Services Division
    527 Interstate Park Drive
    P.O. Box 3710
    Montgomery, AL 36109-0710
    (205) 270-4649
  • HIV-Prevention Program Department of Public Health
    AIDS/STD Program
    434 Monroe Street
    Montgomery, AL 36230
    (205) 261-5838
  • Drug and Alcohol Agency Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation
    200 Interstate Park Drive
    P.O. Box 3710
    Montgomery, AL 36109-0710
    (205) 271-9206

State Education Office : Alabama

  • State Coordinator for Drug-Free Schools Drug Education Program
    State Department of Education
    50 North Ripley Street
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (205) 242-8083

Alabama: Substance Abuse Trends & Statistics

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