Oklahoma Drug Use Trends
There are a wide variety of illicit substances prevalent in Oklahoma's illegal drug market. The most common substances of abuse causing residents to receive drug rehab treatment during 2013 were: meth, marijuana, alcohol and prescription medications. Drug abusers have ample access to marijuana and methamphetamine that is internationally smuggled into the state as well as locally produced product. The leading drug threat in the state is methamphetamine; the substance behind more than 3,000 individual's enrollments into Oklahoma drug rehab programs during 2013. Drugs are smuggled into and throughout the state using major highways such as interstates 40 and 44. Additionally, interstate 35 is a major shipment route for drugs heading to northern and southern states. These areas continue to be heavily monitored by law enforcement and are prime locations for drug busts.
Meth: Oklahoma's Greatest Drug Threat
Methamphetamine is a very powerful form of the stimulant amphetamine. Abusers of this drug have several common terms for meth including crank, crystal meth, and ice. Meth is typically off-white, yellowish or brownish powder but can be close to pure white depending on its purity and the process used to produce it. When the user takes meth it speeds up their body and overloads their central nervous system. The meth user will experience a decrease in their appetite and an increase in their alertness levels.
During the 1930's amphetamines were first used to treat narcolepsy. Today, they are still used to treat narcolepsy as well as for obesity and ADD in children. When prescribed by a physician, users consume 2.5 to 15 milligrams of amphetamines. However, when this drug is abused users will take up to 1,000 milligrams every three hours; this is known as a "speed binge". Consuming this much amphetamine causes an intense rush of physical and psychological exhilaration that is very addicting. Individuals who initially began using amphetamines through a legitimate prescription can become dependent on the rush they experience causing them to seek out illegal sources of the substance, namely methamphetamine.
Users ingest meth several different ways; they inject meth, snort meth as well as smoke meth. All methods of ingestion can result in addiction. Meth abuse can lead to agitation, a rise in body temperature, paranoia and developing "amphetamine psychosis". Symptoms of amphetamine psychosis are similar to those of acute schizophrenia: lack of concentration, delusions of being pursued, increased motor activity, increased suspicion of those around them, auditory hallucinations and scattered thinking. Amphetamine psychosis has been reported in 8-46% of regular users of amphetamines. The wide range in percentage of those who have suffered from an amphetamine psychosis is thought to be due to the gender of the user, their personal mental health history the method of abuse and the duration of abuse.
Oklahoma has one of the highest numbers of clandestine meth labs in the country. Clandestine drug lab seizures in Oklahoma have fluctuated over the last decade. Drug lab seizures in Oklahoma by year can be broken down as follows:
- 2000: 165 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2001: 308 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2002: 289 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2003: 373 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2004: 195 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2005: 67 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2006: 84 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2007: 37 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2008: 52 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2009: 251 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2010: 196 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2011: 178 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2012: 52 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2013: 17 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
- 2014: 10 Oklahoma drug lab seizures
Treatment for Alcohol and Drug Addiction in Oklahoma
Residents of Oklahoma seek drug addiction treatment for a number of different substances. During 2013, 12,723 individuals enrolled in Oklahoma drug rehab programs for addiction problems. The largest group to receive treatment in Oklahoma drug rehab programs during 2013 was individuals looking to recover from amphetamine addiction. 3,223 individuals (25.3% of all Oklahoma drug rehab enrollments during 2013) received addiction treatment services for amphetamine addiction in 2013. Following amphetamine addiction was marijuana addiction. During 2013, 19.5% (2,486 individuals) of all Oklahoma drug rehab enrollments were for marijuana addiction.
The best way to fully recover from alcohol and drug addiction is to enroll in an Oklahoma drug rehab program. Entering treatment provides the addicted individual with a safe and effective way to successfully overcome their dependency problem. Oklahoma drug rehab programs are staffed with experienced compassionate rehabilitation specialists skilled in a wide range of treatment methods including addiction counseling, behavioral therapy, detoxification procedures, alternative recovery techniques and 12-step rehabilitation programs.
Addiction treatment does not come with a guarantee of success. However, long-term inpatient or residential alcohol and drug rehab programs have a proven track record of helping their program participants achieve lasting abstinence. These programs provide a safe, secure living enrollment during recovery as well as assisting in the withdrawal process, providing addiction education and life skills development. Graduates of these programs have the greatest chance of remaining clean and sober after treatment because they have completed an intensive drug rehab program and have begun the process of living life sober before they return to their daily life.
Population in Oklahoma:3,617,316
State Prison Population in Oklahoma:24,245
Probation Population in Oklahoma:27,737
Violent Crime Rate in Oklahoma:
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Oklahoma:
Cocaine seizures in Oklahoma:89.7 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Oklahoma:2.9 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Oklahoma:9.8 kgs.
Marijuana seizures in Oklahoma:715.1 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Oklahoma:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Oklahoma:0.0 kgs./736 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Oklahoma:89
(DEA, Oklahoma, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Oklahoma:
- Methamphetamine, particularly crystal methamphetamine, which is produced in Mexico and the Southwest United States, is currently the principal drug of concern in the State of Oklahoma.
- Cocaine, particularly crack cocaine, is a serious problem in the urban regions of Oklahoma.
- Oklahoma also acts as a transshipment point for drugs being shipped to the eastern United States via Interstates 40 and 44. Interstate also provides a crucial north-south transportation avenue for drug traffickers.
- Cocaine is currently readily available throughout Oklahoma.
- The cocaine in Oklahoma is brought in from Texas and Mexico via commercial airlines and motor vehicles.
- Mexican poly-drug traffickers dealing in marijuana and methamphetamine transport some of the cocaine into Oklahoma.
- Much of the cocaine HCl brought into Oklahoma is converted into crack cocaine for sale at the retail level.
- Cocaine is distributed in Oklahoma mainly by Mexican and African American traffickers.
- An escalation in the number of cocaine couriers in Oklahoma over the past year have been white females in their mid to late 30s.
- Most of the cocaine sold in the Oklahoma City area is transported in by local suppliers who travel to large cities in Texas and return to distribute the product.
- Black Tar heroin is available in small quantities near the metropolitan areas in Oklahoma.
- It is rare to come across brown or white heroin in Oklahoma.
- Colombian heroin hasn't been seen in Oklahoma for several years.
- Demand for heroin has decreased in Oklahoma in recent years.
- The majority of heroin traffickers in Oklahoma get their heroin from Mexico.
- Most of the heroin brought into Oklahoma is hidden in compartments in passenger vehicles.
- Methamphetamine from Mexico is the primary drug of choice (other than marijuana) in Oklahoma, especially the solid form (crystal) of methamphetamine which has become more prevalent.
- Caucasian males and females are equally the primary users of methamphetamine in Oklahoma.
- Most of the methamphetamine in Oklahoma is brought in by Hispanic organizations via motor vehicles, commercial airlines, and mail delivery services.
- An escalation in the amount of crystal methamphetamine has been seen in Oklahoma over the past two years.
- The amount of local small "mom and pop" methamphetamine laboratories has decreased significantly over the last two years in Oklahoma. This decline is due mainly to the passage of Pseudoephedrine Control Laws in mid-2004. Since these laws were passed, the number of labs seized has decreased by approximately 90% in the State of Oklahoma. Over 90% of the labs seized since 2004 in Oklahoma are non-operational: either a dumpsite or glassware only.
- There were 89 meth lab incidents in Oklahoma in 2007.
- Oklahoma is seeing an escalation in the abuse of club drugs, such as MDMA and GHB.
- MDMA is seen at rave parties in eastern and central Oklahoma.
- Most of the MDMA seen in Oklahoma comes from the West Coast, Nevada, and Texas.
- A small number of seizures of MDMA in Oklahoma originated in Canada.
- Marijuana is easily available in all areas of Oklahoma.
- Marijuana is the main illegal drug of abuse in Oklahoma.
- Marijuana imported from Mexico is in use in Oklahoma and is usually imported in combination with other illegal drugs being transported to Oklahoma and other states north and east.
- Most of the marijuana in Oklahoma is imported from the southwest border by vehicle and occasionally in freight vehicles.
- Mexican "Sensimilla", usually found in "pressed/brick" form, is the most common type of marijuana seen in Oklahoma, mainly in urban areas.
- Locally produced marijuana is also available in Oklahoma, though not as readily in recent years.
- The pharmaceutical substances which are most abused /diverted in Oklahoma are hydrocodone products.
- Oxycodone products as well as alprazolam, and phentermine are also frequently abused/diverted in Oklahoma.
- Methadone is a pharmaceutical drug of abuse on the rise in Oklahoma.
- Much of the diversion of pharmaceuticals in Oklahoma occurs through indiscriminate prescribing by physicians, unscrupulous pharmacists, the passing of fraudulent prescriptions, doctor shopping, pharmacy break-ins, and hospital thefts.
- Current reports show that diversion of hydrocodone products continues to be the most common drug of abuse/diversion in Oklahoma.
- As shown above, the primary methods of diversion in Oklahoma are indiscriminate prescribing, pharmacists diverting controlled substances from pharmacies, "doctor shopping", forged /falsified prescriptions, and thefts.
- Methadone has recently been identified as a growing abuse problem in Oklahoma .
- 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 six MET deployments in the State of Oklahoma since the inception of the program. In March 2005, the METs prioritized investigations to target and dismantle methamphetamine trafficking organizations and clandestine laboratory operators in Oklahoma. At least five of the MET deployments in Oklahoma targeted methamphetamine trafficking organizations.
- There were 268 drug violation arrests in Oklahoma in 2007.
- The amount of Operation Pipeline interdictions is increasing within the state of Oklahoma. California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are frequently reported as the domestic states of origin. The state of Oklahoma is traversed by numerous Interstate Highways, and due to this interdictions are common in all areas. Seizures of illicit drugs going through Oklahoma en route to their destinations north and east are routine, as well as seizures of large amounts of currency en route to the west and southwest border states.
- In 1999 a program called Regional Enforcement Team or "RET" 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. There has been one RET deployment in the State of Oklahoma since the inception of the program, in McAlester.
Over the past several years, the Oklahoma Legislature has passed many laws regarding methamphetamine and its precursor chemicals. These include adding penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of minors; possessing or distributing methamphetamine in the vicinity of schools, public parks, public pools or on a marked school bus; and for tampering with anhydrous ammonia equipment. Any possession of anhydrous ammonia in unapproved containers is considered evidence of manufacture. Any possession of three (3) ingredients including as iodine, red phosphorous and ether is considered prima facie evidence of intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
The average lab manufacturing sentence in Oklahoma is approximately years. House Bill 2316 passed the Oklahoma House and Senate in May 2002 and went in to effect on July 1, 200This new law puts a gram cap on all cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine. The charge carries a five year maximum sentence. If a retailer knowingly distributes pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine with the knowledge that it will be used to manufacture methamphetamine, the sentence carries a maximum of ten years incarceration. House Bill 1326, effective July 1, 2003 requires state registration (mirroring Federal Law) for the handling/distribution of products containing Pseudoephedrine at both the wholesale and retail levels. Ephedrine has been a Schedule IV controlled substance in the State of Oklahoma since 1996.
House Bill 2176, signed into law in April 2004, made all hard tablet Pseudoephedrine a Schedule V controlled substance in Oklahoma. Drugs in the form of gel capsules, liquid capsules, and/or liquid preparations are exempt. Hard tablet form may be dispensed by a licensed Oklahoma pharmacist or technician without a prescription to a consumer provided that it does not exceed nine grams of pseudoephedrine in any day period. Also, a signature in a record book and an identification card with photo is required of all persons who purchase, receive, or otherwise acquire pseudoephedrine tablets.
- There are Twenty-two drug courts operating in the state of Oklahoma at this time, with eleven more in the planning stages.
- According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, there are currently 148 drug and alcohol treatment centers operating in the state of Oklahoma.