Nebraska Drug Use Trends
Nebraska is home to 1,881,503 residents (2014 est). Located in the Midwestern United States, Nebraska brings to mind treeless prairies and cattle-grazing. It is one of the largest producers of beef, pork, corn and soybeans. The state's economy is also dependent on freight transport, manufacturing and telecommunications. Nebraska residents struggle with alcohol and drug abuse similar to other areas of the country but their rate of use, abuse and addiction are below the national average. In recent years, approximately 6% of Nebraska residents stated they had used illicit drugs in the past month; during this same period of time the national average was 8%. Methamphetamine is the leading drug threat in the state with close to one-third of primary drug treatment admissions in Nebraska citing stimulants.
The Scope of the Problem
- Nebraska has a large number of undocumented immigrant workers throughout the state. These workers make it easy for Mexican cartels and South American drug trafficking organizations to smuggle illicit substance into Nebraska.
- Interstate 80 is used by drug traffickers for ground shipment to other states, making smuggling their product relatively easy.
- The two most common drugs abused in the state include meth and marijuana. These substances are abused by residents of Nebraska ranging in age, gender, race and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Teens, young adults and university students frequently abuse alcohol and club drugs, while cocaine and crack cocaine can be found in many neighborhoods throughout the state.
- Both foreign and locally produced methamphetamine is found in Nebraska and the substance is abused by a wide range of residents.
- The use of heroin in Nebraska is minimal and is considered a low drug threat throughout the state.
Nebraska Marijuana Addiction and Rehabilitation
Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused substances after alcohol. Residents of all backgrounds use marijuana, and many develop addiction problems requiring drug rehabilitation treatment. A majority of the marijuana found in Nebraska comes from Mexico. It is smuggled into Nebraska from nearby states by Hispanic cartels using ground transportation. Nebraska is also home to a prosperous domestic cultivation market. Across Nebraska there are rural areas and suburban gardens growing cannabis. The local cultivation and sale of marijuana in Nebraska is primarily controlled by miscellaneous criminal groups including motorcycle and street gangs.
During 2013, 8.3% of all drug abuse treatment admissions in Nebraska cited marijuana as their primary substance of abuse. During that year, just over 1,400 individuals received treatment at Nebraska drug and alcohol rehab programs for marijuana addiction. Of this group of individuals, 68.4% were male and 31.6% were female. The largest age group to enroll in Nebraska drug rehab programs for marijuana addiction during 2013 was between 21-25 years old. Choosing to enter a drug rehab program is the most effective way of overcoming marijuana addiction. Through drug rehabilitation the recovering individual can address their addiction problem, resolve issues in their life that drove them to abuse marijuana and develop life skills to remain clean and sober after treatment. There are many different choices in the type of program one enrolls in and that is best determined by speaking with a treatment professional.
Nebraska Meth Addiction and Rehabilitation
Over the past several years, methamphetamine is the leading drug threat to the state. Law enforcement and state officials acknowledge that meth is the most serious illegal drug problem facing Nebraska. Both domestically produced meth and Mexican meth are problems throughout the state. Nebraska is home to a number of clandestine meth labs that produce smaller amounts of high-purity product sold to residents across the state. Additionally, Mexican drug trafficking organizations smuggle their product into Nebraska from nearby states such as Texas. "Ice" is the favored from of methamphetamine in Nebraska due to its high potency and the fact that it is often locally produced. This form of meth can be smoked or injected. Local drug distributors of Ice are often Caucasian criminal groups and motorcycle gangs.
2,500 individuals enrolled in Nebraska drug rehab programs for meth and stimulant addiction during 2013. This made up 14.1% of all drug rehab enrollments during that year. The male to female ratio of admissions into Nebraska drug rehab programs for meth addiction was nearly equal with 49.7% male and 50.3% female. The largest age group to enroll in Nebraska drug rehab programs for meth addiction was between 26-30 years old, with the second largest age group being between 31-35 years old.
Recovery from meth addiction is a process that typically requires the individual to enroll in a long-term inpatient or residential drug rehab program. These types of programs remove the individual from their re-stimulating environment during the recovery process while providing them with a safe and comfortable setting while they are in treatment. Long-term programs usually last 90 days or longer depending on the program, allowing the recovering individual ample time to acclimate to living life sober. During their time in rehab they will go through withdrawal, undergo addiction rehabilitation services to help them understand their addiction while resolving conflicts in their lives that lead to their meth abuse and develop skills to help them maintain their sobriety when they leave the program.
Nebraska Drug Rehabilitation
Residents of Nebraska have access to a wide range of treatment programs to help them overcome alcohol and drug addiction. While outpatient treatment and support groups serve a purpose, residents with long-term or heavy substance addiction problems will require more intensive treatment. Studies have shown that inpatient and residential programs that last 90 days or longer provide the best success rates for achieving lasting sobriety. Unlike outpatient programs, residential drug rehab and inpatient treatment offers recovering individuals with 24/7, comprehensive care and guidance during their recovery. These programs benefit the individual with their emotionally supportive atmosphere and all-inclusive services. Many programs incorporate family members of the recovering individual in their rehabilitation program ensuring maximized support and understanding during the process and long after treatment is concluded.
Population in Nebraska:1,758,787
State Prison Population in Nebraska:4,130
Probation Population in Nebraska:17,994
Violent Crime Rate in Nebraska:
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Nebraska:
Cocaine seizures in Nebraska:31.1 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Nebraska:2.6 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Nebraska:12.2 kgs.
Marijuana seizures in Nebraska:3,228.1 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Nebraska:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Nebraska:0.0 kgs./18 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Nebraska:16
(DEA, Nebraska, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Nebraska:
- Methamphetamine is the major concern for law enforcement in the state of Nebraska.
- Nebraska is a transshipment state for Mexican methamphetamine with Interstate 80 providing easy west to east access through the state.
- Nebraska has over 165 meat-packing/poultry plants and 55,000 farms statewide. The number of Hispanic workers, both legal and illegal, has almost tripled in the last 10 years and Hispanic children are currently the largest minority student population in Nebraska. This rapid population growth has allowed members of drug trafficking organizations with ties to Mexico to more easily blend into the community in Nebraska.
- Cocaine is easily available in the larger cities of Nebraska and is abused by all social and ethnic groups.
- Cocaine in Nebraska is obtained mainly from sources in southwest border states.
- Cocaine distributors in Omaha, Nebraska are mainly of Hispanic origin and are known to trade with African-American groups who convert the cocaine to crack.
- Heroin is available in negligible amounts in the Omaha, Nebraska area, and is primarily obtained from sources in Mexico.
- While not considered a drug of choice in Nebraska, Hispanic trafficking organizations have heroin available for consumer use.
- The availability of imported methamphetamine is stable in all areas of Nebraska with a small amount of local low-yield labs in the rural areas.
- Hispanic controlled trafficking organizations import methamphetamine into Nebraska in vehicles.
- Although hispanic DTOs are willing to sell their methamphetamine to non-Hispanic organizations or individuals in Nebraska, control of the product from production until it reaches the consumer is usually kept within the Hispanic community.
- Crystal methamphetamine or "ice" is still easily available in Omaha and has become the preferred form of methamphetamine in Nebraska.
- There were 16 meth lab incidents in Nebraska in 2007.
- The popularity of predatory or club drugs continues to be a problem to law enforcement and to local communities in Nebraska.
- There is the idea among users in Nebraska that these club drugs are "safe" to use.
- Current investigations show organizations in Nebraska have been receiving multi-hundred to thousand dosage units of MDMA (ecstasy) from Texas, Florida, and Arizona.
- Efforts are currently underway to link investigations of mid-level distributors and users in Nebraska.
- Marijuana is easily available throughout the major cities in Nebraska.
- The marijuana available in Nebraska includes marijuana from Mexico and from sources in the state of Washington which may have gotten their marijuana from grow operations in British Columbia, Canada.
- Mexican originated marijuana is brought into Nebraska via the El Paso, Texas; Nogales, Arizona; and southern California ports of entry.
- Methods of transportation of marijuana in Nebraska include all forms of vehicles via the U.S. highway system and commercial transportation such as Greyhound buses and Amtrak.
- Marijuana trafficking organizations in Nebraska are primarily controlled by Hispanics.
- MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, and PCP are rarely come across in Nebraska.
- OxyContin is readily available throughout Nebraska.
- Stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and illegally diverted pharmaceuticals are abused to a much lesser extent than the more traditional drugs in Nebraska.
- Diversion of OxyContin, hydrocodone, and codeine-based cough syrups continues to be a problem in Nebraska.
- Methods of diversion of pharmaceuticals in Nebraska includes "doctor shopping" and forged prescriptions.
- 3."Pharming" parties are popular among junior high/high school students in Nebraska, where controlled pharmaceuticals are traded and abused.
- 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 Nebraska, in Lexington.
- There were 132 drug violation arrests in Nebraska in 2007.
- Interstate 80 crosses Nebraska from east to west and acts as a major smuggling route for drug trafficking organizations. Eastbound travel from western and southwestern source cities connects with North Platte, Kearney, Lincoln, and Omaha, then into Iowa to Des Moines, the Quad Cities and further east to Chicago, Illinois. Westbound travel on I-80 leads out of Nebraska at two points. At one point, near the Colorado border, I-80 forks to the southwest into Colorado and becomes Interstate 76 which connects with Sterling and continues to Denver, a known source city. The second point occurs west of Kimball, Nebraska entering Wyoming at Pine Bluffs. A cooperative agreement between DEA, the Nebraska State Patrol, and other county law enforcement agencies, ensures DEA's presence in all significant Operation Pipeline interdictions. Operation Pipeline interdictions accounted for nearly 65% of all DEA investigations in Nebraska during FY-2007.