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The state capital of Iowa is Des Moines, IA. This state entered the union on December 28, 1838 and was the 29th state to join. The state flower of Iowa is the wild rose and their state bird is the eastern goldfinch. It has been nicknamed the Hawkeye State and has a state motto of “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”. As of the 2010 census there were 3,046,355 people who called Iowa their home. Of this population 1,508,319 (49.5%) were Male; Female: 1,538,036 (50.5%). White: 2,781,561 (91.3%); Black: 89,148 (2.9%); American Indian: 11,084 (0.4%); Asian: 53,094 (1.7%); Other race: 56,132 (1.3%); Two or more races: 53,333 (1.9%); Hispanic/Latino: 151,544 (5.0%). 2010 population 18 and over: 2,318,362; 65 and over: 452,888 median age: 38.

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This week's topic is:

Iowa Drug Use Trends

Iowa is located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River to the west. It is located in a region often referred to as the "American Heartland". Iowans struggle with certain substance abuse problems that they may not be able to put an end to on their own, making the availability of quality treatment options a priority for all residents who need it.


Alcohol is the most frequently abused substance among both youth and adults in Iowa. This is the case throughout with United States, but in Iowa over 31% of treatment admissions report alcohol as their only substance of abuse. Iowa also consistently ranks in the top 10 of states in the nation for binge drinking rates. The consequences of which can be seen in the over 150 deaths in 2009 from alcoholic cirrhosis in the state, showing a five-year increase of 48%. Between 2005 and 2009, the total number of hospitalizations in Iowa which were 100% attributed to alcohol increased 36% from 7,800 to 10,600 cases.

Illicit Drugs

In Iowa, marijuana, methamphetamine and prescription drugs are the drugs of choice among residents. Prescription pain killer abuse in particular is one of the most prevalent problems, and statistics show that while marijuana use among youth in the state has declined in recent years, the rate of non-medical use of prescription pain killers among this age group has increased significantly. In 2008 there were around 11,000 arrests for drug violations in Iowa, and on average between 2005 and 2009 840 Iowans died because of a condition associated with illicit drug use.


No one in Iowa should be ashamed of reaching out for help if they need it, especially when considering the consequences mentioned above from alcohol and drug abuse. Quality drug treatment can help Iowans get off of drugs and alcohol and abruptly stop the consequences of addiction in its tracks, but more importantly make it possible for all Iowans to have a higher quality of life. Quality drug rehab programs which offer a comprehensive treatment curriculum in an inpatient or residential facility are going to be the most ideal treatment options for Iowans, particularly those which provide long-term treatment of 90-120 days. Based on results and decades of experience, long-term treatment that provides a crucial change of environment where there is no access to drugs or alcohol is the most beneficial treatment with the highest success rates, and should be a primary option. Thankfully, there are such quality options available through health insurance and financial assistance is also available when self pay is the only option.

Population in Iowa:2,966,334
State Prison Population in Iowa:8,525
Probation Population in Iowa:22,832
Violent Crime Rate in Iowa:
National Ranking:37
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Iowa:
Cocaine seizures in Iowa:25.1 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Iowa:0.0 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Iowa:5.3 kgs.
Marijuana seizures in Iowa:259.8 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Iowa:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Iowa:0.0 kgs./1,920 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Iowa:
(DEA, Iowa, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Iowa:
  • In central and western Iowa, methamphetamine remains the main drug of concern.
  • Cocaine is now the principal drug of concern in eastern Iowa.
  • Interstates 29 and in Iowa provide a north-south transportation avenue for drug traffickers.
  • Iowa serves as a transshipment point for drugs being shipped to the eastern United States via Interstate 80.
  • Hispanic trafficking organizations import large amounts of methamphetamine into Iowa, sometimes with their shipments of cocaine and marijuana.

  • Cocaine HCl is easily available throughout Iowa.
  • In metropolitan cities of eastern Iowa, cocaine is the number two drug of choice, behind marijuana.
  • Cocaine coming into eastern Iowa comes out of Chicago and California.
  • Most of the crack cocaine in eastern Iowa is sold by African-American traffickers, supplied by street gangs out of Chicago.
  • Defendant and witness interviews have brought to light that many Chicago residents have been displaced as a result of low income housing projects being torn down, and have now settled in Iowa. This population shift has provided Chicago-based gang members cover and protection for their gang activities, including the trafficking of controlled substances in Iowa.
  • Cocaine availability in the Des Moines area of Iowa remains stable after past increases.
  • The Sioux City Resident Office of Iowa has seen a notable increase in crack cocaine.
  • Cocaine abuse in Iowa is no longer limited to certain ethnic groups.
  • The crack cocaine in Iowa frequently arrives from the Chicago and Arkansas areas.
  • Numerous subjects with ties to Kansas City have been arrested in Sioux City, Iowa. The void left by the arrests of the subjects in Sioux City has been filled by subjects from Chicago and Arkansas.

  • Most of the heroin in Iowa can be found in the eastern part of the state.
  • Heroin is not readily available in Iowa. However, the Cedar Rapids Resident Office reports that when encountered, it is of both black tar and white heroin types.
  • Chicago-based street gangs are responsible for most of the heroin available in eastern Iowa. These gang members often shed their gang affiliations while in Iowa to avoid detection by law enforcement.

  • Hispanic trafficking organizations import large amounts of methamphetamine into Iowa, mainly by motor vehicles and mail delivery services.
  • "Ice" or crystal methamphetamine is the main drug of concern in central and western Iowa.
  • Informant and defendant interviews have brought to light that many users in the Sioux City, Iowa area not willing to pay for the higher priced crystal methamphetamine, which has decreased in purity during the past two years, and have returned to lower quality powder methamphetamine. However, this is not the case in central Iowa where almost all methamphetamine seized is crystal methamphetamine, and purities have remained stable.
  • Methamphetamine continues to be a problem for law enforcement in eastern Iowa. Most of the methamphetamine sold and used in Iowa originates with Mexican drug traffickers.
  • There are large Mexican communities throughout Iowa and a significant illegal immigrant problem, mainly with Mexican nationals. These communities provide Mexican traffickers with a ready-made pipeline and infrastructure to distribute methamphetamine in Iowa.
  • There were 138 meth lab incidents in Iowa in 2007. This is in a steep decline in contrast to 2004 in which there were 1,370 such incidents.

  • The state of Iowa continues to see the abuse of MDMA (ecstasy).
  • Most of the MDMA in eastern Iowa is said to come from sources in California, New York, Spain, and the Netherlands.
  • The organizations which provide MDMA to Iowa are believed to transport the drug via package services.
  • Bulk quantities of MDMA are easily available within central Iowa, mainly in tablet form.
  • Package services are frequently used to transport MDMA into Iowa, as well as common land transport methods.
  • Most of the MDMA in central Iowa is believed to be produced in Canada and smuggled across the northern border of the United States.
  • There is intelligence indicating the trafficking of MDMA by Asian organizations into Iowa.

  • Marijuana is easily available throughout Iowa.
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa reports that marijuana in eastern Iowa originates from sources along the southwest border.
  • Wholesale marijuana in northwest Iowa is primarily distributed by the large Hispanic community in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
  • Almost all of the marijuana throughout Iowa is imported from the southwest border in motor vehicles and mail delivery services.
  • Domestically produced marijuana is also available in Iowa.
  • Small indoor and outdoor marijuana grow operations have been found in eastern and central Iowa.
  • "Ditchweed" marijuana, a lower quality marijuana often seen in outdoor grows, is a continuing problem in Iowa. The ditchweed is occasionally used as filler for higher purity imported marijuana.

  • Law enforcement in Sioux City, Iowa report the availability of phencyclidine also known as PCP.
  • Law enforcement in Des Moines, Iowa continues to report the availability of LSD in central Iowa.

  • Treatment professionals in Iowa report widespread addiction to OxyContin.
  • Officials from the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners report that hydrocodone products are the most prevalent pharmaceutical drugs of abuse in Iowa.
  • Iowa treatment professionals report that their new clients are primarily addicted to OxyContin, Percocet, and hydrocodone products.
  • Law enforcement in eastern Iowa report that the most commonly diverted pharmaceutical drugs include Vicodin ES, Lortab, Hycondan, Demerol, Dilaudid, Percodan, Nubaine, and Prozac.
  • Current information indicates that diversion of hydrocodone products such as Vicodin continues to be a problem in Iowa.
  • Methods of diversion being reported in Iowa are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, "doctor shopping", forged prescriptions, employee theft, and Internet purchases.
  • OxyContin, benzodiazepines, and codeine were identified as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Iowa.

  • 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. Since the inception of the program, there has been one MET deployment in the State of Iowa, in Ft. Dodge.
  • Interstates 80 and 35 cross Iowa, providing a route for many drug trafficking organizations. Commercial and private motor vehicles are the main method that drug traffickers use to transport drug shipments into the state, as well as send bulk currency proceeds back to Mexico.
  • Highway interdictions have led to the seizure of large amounts of drugs and currency found in hidden compartments, natural voids, luggage, and often in plain sight. A cooperative agreement between DEA, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Iowa State Patrol ensures DEA's presence in all significant Operation Pipeline interdictions.
  • There were 272 drug violation arrests in Iowa in 2007.

State Policy Offices : Iowa

  • Governor's Office Office of the Governor
    State Capitol Building
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-5211
  • State Legislative Contact Legislative Information Office
    Legislative Service Bureau
    State Capitol Building
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-3566
  • State Drug Program Coordinator Governor's Alliance on Substance Abuse
    Lucas State Office Building,Second Floor
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-4518

State Criminal Justice Offices : Iowa

  • Attorney General's Office Attorney General's Office
    Hoover State Office Building
    1300 East Walnut Street
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-5164
  • Crime Prevention Office Iowa Crime Prevention Association
    420 Harrison Street
    Davenport, IA 52801
    (319) 326-7960
  • Statistical Analysis Center Division of Criminal Justice and Juvenile Planning
    Lucas State Office Building
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 242-5816
  • Uniform Crime Reports Contact Uniform Crime Reports
    Iowa Department of Public Safety
    Wallace State Office Building
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-8494
  • BJA Strategy Preparation Agency Governor's Alliance on Substance Abuse
    Lucas State Office Building
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-4518
  • Judicial Agency Judicial Department
    State Capitol Building
    10th Street and Grand Avenue
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-5241
  • Corrections Agency Department of Corrections
    Capitol Annex
    523 East 12th Street
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-4811

State Health Offices : Iowa

  • RADAR Network Agency Iowa Substance Abuse Information Center
    Cedar Rapids Public Library
    500 First Street SE
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
    (319) 398-5133
  • HIV-Prevention Program Department of Public Health
    Division of Health Protection
    Lucas State Office Building
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-4936
  • Drug and Alcohol Agency Department of Public Health
    Division of Substance Abuse and Health Promotion
    Lucas State Office Building,Third Floor
    321 East 12th Street
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-3641

State Education Office : Iowa

  • State Coordinator for Drug-Free Schools Substance Education Consultant
    Iowa Department of Education
    Grimes State Office Building
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    (515) 281-3021

Iowa: Substance Abuse Trends & Statistics

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Iowa: Substance Abuse Resources

Drug Rehab Iowa Iowa Department of Public Health

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