Connecticut Drug Use Trends
The state of Connecticut is located in the region of the U.S. known as New England, where it is the southernmost state. It is also part of what is known as the "Tri-State area" which includes Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. To the east is Rhode Island, to the north Massachusetts, with New York to the west and Long Island to the south. Connecticut tends to be somewhat of a suburb of New York City in many regards, with many New Yorkers commuting to work from the state during the weekday or having 2nd homes there. Alcohol, heroin, and prescription drugs are the biggest drug threats in the state of Connecticut, with heroin and prescription drugs causing many serious consequences among residents in recent years. This points to the fact that Connecticut residents could seriously benefit from education about the risks associated with any type of drug and prescription drug use and abuse, including the fact that prescription drugs induce dependence and addiction like any other drug, and the need for quality drug treatment when a drug problem becomes too much to bear and out of the individual's control in the state.
Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in Connecticut, as is the case nationally. According to recent studies and surveys in the state, over 60% of residents ages 12 or older in Connecticut (an estimated 1,775,000 persons) were current users of alcohol, which is 10% higher than the national average. Young adults aged 18-25 have the highest reported prevalence of current alcohol use, as well as the highest rate of binge drinking and dependence and abuse of alcohol. Underage youth also abuse alcohol at very high rates in the state, with 32% of young people in the state reporting past month alcohol use and 21% reporting binge drinking. College students binge drink at very high rates in Connecticut, with 54% of students reporting doing so within the past two weeks. Alarmingly, 42% of high school seniors in the state admit to having consumed five or more drinks within a short time on one or more occasion in the past 30 days.
In terms of illicit drugs, Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in Connecticut and nationally. The rate has only increased in recent years, with prevalence rates increasing from 6.9% to 7.6% and nearly 40% of Connecticut residents 18 and older reporting lifetime use of the drug. College students in the state show particularly high use rates of the drug, with 38% of students admitting to smoking marijuana in the past year and 23.2% in the past month. Additionally, 15% of 9th graders and 34% of 12th graders report current use of marijuana.
There are many indicators that the demand for heroin has increased dramatically in Connecticut in the last decade. It is extremely accessible in the state with an average purity level of 70-80%, making it a very dangerous drug of choice as well in the state. Connecticut's rate of heroin use among adults exceeds the national rate, and nearly 40% of treatment admissions to drug rehab programs in the state are due to the use of heroin as a primary substance. Additionally, there has been a significant increase in overdose deaths associated with heroin in Connecticut, due to the recent increase in potency levels most likely. Yet there is also a form of the drug being laced with an extremely potent narcotic called Fentanyl which is far more potent than heroin and users may not be aware that it is even in what they are purchasing and using in the state. In addition, nationally we are seeing a growing trend of individuals who have been involved in non-medical use of prescription pain killers switching to heroin because it is more accessible and cheaper, and so is the case in Connecticut as well.
Non-medical use of prescription drugs is a very serious problem in Connecticut and nationally. In Connecticut however, nearly 6 million prescriptions were written last year for controlled substances, which is almost double the amount of residents that actually live in the state. Among the most popular prescription drugs of choice for residents who abuse these drugs are Percocet, Oxycodone and Oxycontin which have a street value anywhere from $20 to $60 per tablet. As mentioned above, this is also leading to a heroin epidemic in Connecticut and nationally, because it can be very difficult to keep up with a more expensive prescription drug habit when heroin is far more accessible and far less costly in most cased. The rare of drug overdose deaths in Connecticut rose by 12% between 1999 and 2010, with the majority of these deaths being associated with prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs is also associated with at least 23% of drug-related emergency department admissions and 20% of all single drug-related emergency department deaths. Currently, prescription opioids account for more drug mentions involved in multiple drug-related deaths (19%) than cocaine (15%), heroin (13%) and marijuana (3%) in the state.
Because Connecticut residents are faced with very dangerous drug problems which have been taking the lives of residents at alarming rates in recent years, it is crucial that quality drug treatment solutions are accessible to residents who need help to overcome any type of substance abuse problem. Fortunately, there are a number of quality drug rehab programs in the state, many of which are even covered through private health insurance.
One of the most common misconceptions among individuals looking for treatment is that all rehab is the same, and this couldn't be further from the truth. Some drug rehab programs offer very brief intervention to simply help someone get abstinent, while other programs in Connecticut are far more comprehensive and provide solutions to help an individual address the actual causes of their substance abuse problem. Addressing these types of issues is the key to continued abstinence of course, as is delivering essential behavioral therapy, life skills training, and encouraging the individual to make important lifestyle changes which will encourage a drug free life. These are all additional steps that aren't that are crucial and part of a more extensive and intensive drug rehab program in the state. When searching for a more comprehensive solution in Connecticut, consider long-term inpatient and residential drug rehab programs as your primary options.
Population in Connecticut:3,510,297
State Prison Population in Connecticut:19,497
Probation Population in Connecticut:52,092
Violent Crime Rate in Connecticut:
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Connecticut:
Cocaine seizures in Connecticut:52.0 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Connecticut:4.6 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Connecticut:1.3 kgs.
Marijuana seizures in Connecticut:258.3 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Connecticut:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Connecticut:0.0 kgs./88 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Connecticut:0
(DEA, Connecticut, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Connecticut:
- The greatest drug threats in Connecticut are heroin and cocaine in powder and crack form.
- Located in close proximity to NYC, Connecticut is an important transit and destination area for drugs. Interstate 95, the major north-south route on the East Coast, extends along Connecticut's southern shore through Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven and New London. It connects New York City with Boston and continues to the U.S.-Canada border. Interstate 91 extends from New Haven north to Massachusetts, Vermont and the U.S.-Canada border. These interstates intersect in New Haven, Connecticut and is known by law enforcement as the New England Pipeline. (And Interstate 84).
- Cocaine is a popular drug of choice and is widely abused in Connecticut.
- Crack is historically preferred over powder, although powder cocaine has recently experienced a surge in popularity in Connecticut due to the lower wholesale price of powder cocaine from New York-based suppliers.
- The powder form of cocaine can be converted to crack cocaine locally in Connecticut. Wholesale dealers in Connecticut increasingly prefer to sell powder in the interest of greater profit.
- Street level distribution of cocaine in Connecticut is controlled primarily by Puerto Rican and African American groups.
- Cocaine is available in many sizes in Connecticut, from gram to kilogram quantities.
- Smuggling and distribution organizations in Connecticut are now comprised mainly of a mix of Puerto Rican, Mexican, and African American individuals often working in concert.
- Cocaine has in the past, and continues to arrive in Connecticut from New York via automobiles sometimes equipped with sophisticated hidden compartments.
- Sources of supply for cocaine in Connecticut also include Mexican transportation groups based in mid-Atlantic, southern, and western states throughout the U.S.
- Local prices of cocaine fluctuate greatly in Connecticut in reaction to availability in source areas.
- The demand for heroin in Connecticut remains high and is easily accessible.
- Popularity of heroin in Connecticut is due, in part, to increased availability of low cost, high purity heroin that can be effectively snorted or smoked rather than injected.
- Connecticut based Dominican and other Hispanic criminal groups are the main transporters and wholesale and midlevel suppliers of heroin in the State of Connecticut.
- Heroin in Connecticut is still sold on the street in small glassine bags, few have any kind of mark or branding on the package.
- The heroin in Connecticut is primarily being transported into Connecticut from New York City, usually entering the region via one the major interstates in automobiles equipped with hidden hydraulic compartments or "traps."
- Large quantities of heroin arrive in Connecticut via shipping services, such as UPS and via airplanes by way of human couriers.
- Methamphetamine lab seizures have not increased in Connecticut, and were at 0 for 2007.
- Popularity of MDMA/Ecstasy has slipped in Connecticut, even among college age individuals residing in there. MDMA is transported from Florida and Mexico via mail services to Connecticut. MDMA is also purchased in New York or Canada and transported to Connecticut.
- Marijuana can still be obtained throughout Connecticut and the majority of high grade marijuana available in Connecticut comes from either Canada, out of state indoor grow operations, Mexico, and or the Southwest areas of the U.S.
- Marijuana is readily available in the state of Connecticut for individual use and available in multi-ounce/pound quantities for wholesale distribution.
- High quality, Canadian produced marijuana is smuggled across the U.S. - Canada border into Connecticut by Caucasian criminal groups, primarily via private vehicle.
- Indoor hydroponic marijuana growth sites have been revealed around Connecticut in recent years. These operations have been able to avoid detection by the utility companies in Connecticut, therefore evading notification to law enforcement, by expertly wiring electric connections through an alternate location, and increasingly through the use of generators at grow sites.
- OxyContin, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Hydocodone, Methadone, Ritalin, Xanax and Diazepam, are highly abused in Connecticut and the diversion and abuse of prescription opiates such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet are increasing rapidly.
- Prescription fraud, improper prescribing practices, "doctor shopping" and pharmacy theft are all methods which are used to obtain diverted pharmaceuticals in Connecticut.
- Local independent dealers and abusers are the primary retail-level distributors of diverted pharmaceuticals in Connecticut.
- PCP is typically transported into Connecticut from the southwestern United States and the New York City area through the use of couriers.
- Local PCP labs have recently been identified in Connecticut.
- PCP in Connecticut is sprayed on crushed mint leaves or marijuana and then smoked. Loose PCP-laced marijuana, often packaged in a plastic bag, is called "wet" and PCP-laced blunts are called "illy".
- In 1995 a program was created known as the DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams, or "MET". This was in response to the overwhelming problem of drugs and drug-related crimes across the nation. There have been two MET deployments in the State of Connecticut since the inception of the program, Bridgeport and Hartford.
- There are currently 9 state-run drug treatment facilities in Connecticut.
- There were 221 drug violation arrests made in Connecticut in 2007.