Missouri Drug Use Trends
Missouri is a Midwestern state in the U.S., with the four largest urban areas in the state being St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia. The northern portion of the state is mainly composed of plains while the southern portion is mountainous, with the Missouri River dividing both. Missouri is actually placed directly at the intersection of the three greatest rivers in North American, including the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers. Missouri residents face many challenges in regard to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as challenges in treating addiction and making sure that residents know where to go when they need help for it.
Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug among Missouri residents. And even though alcohol is legal, it causes just as many problems in regards to dependence, addiction and the consequences of its use among residents. Binge drinking is an unfortunate and common occurrence among young residents in the state under the age of 25. Among youth in the state, studies indicate that alcohol tends to be the drug that is seen both as the most acceptable and the easiest to obtain in the state. Between 2010 and 2011, 15.0% of Missouri residents in the 12-17 age group reported drinking in the last month. Over 60% of Missouri residents in the 18-25 age group reported drinking in the last month, and over 37% reported binge drinking in the last month.
Statistics and studies show that the consequences associated with illicit drug use in Missouri tend to be higher than the national average. One of the major problems is the perception risk associated with use of marijuana, and over one-quarter of all youth surveyed in Missouri do not find marijuana smoking to be a risky behavior. Likewise, over one-third of all youth in Missouri say it would be easy to obtain to obtain marijuana, and most think that persons smoking marijuana would most likely not be caught by police. Missouri males aged 18 to 25 are the age group with the highest illicit drug use rates across all drugs. Between 2010 and 2011, 18.3% of Missouri residents in the 18-25 age group reported smoking marijuana in the last month. Depression and suicide, closely associated with substance abuse, are a larger problem in Missouri than the rest of the nation on average. Missouri has been higher than the rest of the nation on average for rate of deaths due to suicide over the last decade.
Marijuana is not the only popular drug of abuse in the state however, and over 7% of Missouri residents in the 18-25 age group report using illicit drugs, other than marijuana at some point in the past month. The rate of deaths related to drug related overdose/poisonings in Missouri has been higher than the national average for the last several years, and between 1999 and 2005 the amount of drug related deaths has increased by 15.6%. This is a serious problem in the state for other reasons as well, with an estimated 85% of parolees in Missouri reporting substance abuse or dependence. In addition, an estimated 27% of child abuse or neglect perpetrators in Missouri are characterized as having alcohol or drug related problems.
Because the devastating consequences of substance abuse in Missouri are preventable, early intervention is crucial as well as making quality treatment available to all residents who need it. The programs in Missouri which have been to be the most effective at resolving the problems of drug and alcohol addiction are drug rehab programs which provide an inpatient and residential or residential stay for at least 90-120 days. While other less intensive options are available, such as 30-day programs or outpatient treatment facilities, many treatment clients may be prone to relapse because they aren't in the appropriate environment long enough to resolve the causes of addiction before they return to their normal lives. For outpatient clients of course, this is every day, so they are constantly exposed to unresolved drug triggers and have the highest rates of relapse. So it is important for Missouri residents to understand that the easiest course of action isn't necessarily the best, and it can be helpful to speak with a treatment counselor at a long-term inpatient or residential drug rehab facility in the state to learn about all of the benefits of such treatment.
Population in Missouri:5,800,310
State Prison Population in Missouri:31,081
Probation Population in Missouri:53,832
Violent Crime Rate in Missouri:
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Missouri:
Cocaine seizures in Missouri:262.8 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Missouri:29.8 kgs./970 du
Methamphetamine seizures in Missouri:40.0 kgs./493 du
Marijuana seizures in Missouri:1,527 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Missouri:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Missouri:0.0 kgs./9,589 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Missouri:1,189
(DEA, Missouri, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Missouri:
- Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations control the vast majority of the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin in Missouri.
- Several organizations with ties to Texas, Arizona and California continue to traffic in methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin into Missouri.
- Small toxic methamphetamine laboratories are found throughout Missouri.
- Cocaine and crack cocaine are easily available in both the St. Louis and Kansas City areas of Missouri and are abused by all social and ethnic groups.
- There have been reports of a shortage of cocaine in Missouri, but there is no indication of a sustained shortage.
- Typically, cocaine in Missouri comes from sources of supply in Texas, Arizona, and California that are associated with Mexican international distribution organizations.
- The cocaine in Missouri is transported primarily in vehicles on the interstate highway system.
- Much of the cocaine brought into Missouri is converted to crack and sold in the inner-city areas.
- While Hispanic trafficking organizations control the wholesale distribution of cocaine in Missouri, local distribution of crack is primarily controlled by small independent dealers or by street gangs, some with loose affiliations to national gangs.
- Heroin markets in eastern Missouri have seen a shift from low purity Mexican black tar heroin to white heroin, which originates in either South America or southwest Asia.
- The purity of white heroin in Missouri varies from levels as low as 10-15% (similar to the Mexican heroin), to samples which have been tested at above 40% in purity.
- The emergence of the white heroin is said to have led to an expansion of the heroin markets to more suburban and rural areas of eastern Missouri.
- The ability to snort the white heroin makes it more attractive to young, suburban and rural users in Missouri.
- Availability of heroin in western Missouri remains very limited.
- The heroin market in Missouri continues to be dominated by Mexican black tar and powdered heroin.
- Some highway interdictions in Missouri of larger quantities of South American white heroin have occurred in the past year. In each situation, the heroin was believed to be enroute to Chicago, Illinois.
- As with heroin, the methamphetamine problem in Missouri differs greatly between the eastern and western halves of the state.
- The western half of the state of Missouri is overwhelmed by crystal "ice" methamphetamine, supplied by organizations based out of Mexico, California, and the southwest United States, and brought to Missouri by the traditional highway transportation organizations.
- "Ice" is normally perceived to be higher in purity, but lower purity levels have been found in many exhibits in Missouri.
- Small toxic methamphetamine laboratories are found in western Missouri. However, the number of laboratory seizures in the western half of the state dropped 7from 516 in 2004 to 136 in 2007.
- Most of the methamphetamine used in eastern Missouri is said to be supplied by the Mexican DTOs.
- The issue of local methamphetamine laboratories in Missouri remains a top priority with local officials.
- Some law enforcement agencies in Missouri have reported a resurgence in methamphetamine laboratory seizures in late 2007.
- 9.The number of methamphetamine laboratories seized in eastern Missouri has declined in the past several years. However, this is at a lower level than seen in western Missouri.
- The number of methamphetamine laboratory seizures in eastern Missouri declined 54% from its peak of 601 in 2004 to 278 in 2007, which is twenty percent less than the decline in western Missouri.
- The Missouri state legislation limiting the sale of pseudoephedrine products is said to have hindered local production throughout the state.
- Local laboratory operators in Missouri continue to obtain the necessary ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine through "smurfing" (going from store to store, purchasing the maximum allowable amounts), and through theft of ingredients such as anhydrous ammonia.
- There were 1,189 meth lab incidents in Missouri in 2007.
- MDMA (ecstasy) is available in all areas of Missouri.
- Drugs such as MDMA and GHB are readily available in all types of dance clubs in the major cities, and around college campuses throughout Missouri.
- MDMA in Missouri is obtained by local distributors from sources of supply in California, New York, Florida, Texas and Washington State.
- Marijuana is continuing problem throughout the state of Missouri.
- Mexican marijuana is imported into Missouri primarily on interstate highways in automobiles, commercial trucks, vans, horse trailers, rental trucks, and motor homes from the southwest border.
- There has been a greater availability of higher purity "BC Bud" marijuana in Missouri from Canada and the northwest United States.
- Indoor marijuana grow operations are found in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas of Missouri.
- Outdoor grow operations are found in the rural parts of the state.Missouri.
- PCP is a problem in both the Kansas City and St. Louis areas of Missouri.
- The availability of PCP is more of a problem in the Kansas City area of Missouri, but St. Louis law enforcement reports a spike in the availability of the drug in the St. Louis area on from time to time.
- LSD is found in Missouri, though its abuse is not believed to be widespread.
- Khat is mainly abused by immigrants in Missouri, from eastern African countries such as Somalia.
- Khat has been encountered by law enforcement in highway interdictions in Missouri.
- Current reports show that diversion of hydrocodone products such as Vicodin, and oxycodone products such as OxyContin continues to be a problem in Missouri.
- Alprazolam, methadone, codeine, Adderall and Ritalin were reported as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Missouri.
- Primary methods of diversion of pharmaceuticals in Missouri are forged prescriptions, employee theft, pharmacy theft, illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, "doctor shopping", and via Internet purchases.
- 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 MET deployments in the State of Missouri since the inception of the program: Sikeston, Fountain Park, St. Charles County, Audrain County, Crystal City, Berkeley, Hannibal, Franklin County (2), Joplin, and Springfield.
- In 1999 a program was created known at the Regional Enforcement Teams, or "RET". 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. It targets organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States. There has been one RET deployment in the state of Missouri since the inception of the program, in Springfield/Joplin.
- There were 609 drug violation arrests in Missouri in 2007.
- Missouri's central location in the United States makes it a crucial transportation center for drug trafficking organizations.
- Missouri has two International Airports (St. Louis and Kansas City) and is crossed by three major east-west interstate highways used by organizations transporting drugs from the southwest border to the eastern United States and drug proceeds returning west.
- Interstates 44, 64, and 70 pass through Missouri from east to west, and Interstates 29, 35, and 55 pass through the state in a north south direction.
- Law enforcement agencies throughout Missouri conduct interdiction programs seizing large quantities of drugs and currency. These seizures don't normally originate in or are destined for the state of Missouri.
- The St. Louis Division in Missouri maintains an aggressive program to assist in controlled deliveries to other divisions, and to pass investigative information based on intelligence gathered during the highway interdictions. The controlled deliveries and leads in Missouri have provided evidence and information to ongoing investigations in other divisions, often targeting the highest levels of drug trafficking.
- The majority of the drug trafficking organizations within the state of Missouri bring drug proceeds back to source countries/regions through bulk currency shipments, often utilizing the same vehicles used to transport the drugs to Missouri.
- Organizations also utilize other money laundering methods in Missouri such as micro structuring through traditional financial institutions, the use of money remitters, and casinos, though most of the financial operations appear to be less sophisticated.