Wyoming Drug Use Trends
As the tenth most extensive state in the country Wyoming has a number of mountain ranges and prairies. With the state's vast landscape Mexican criminal groups have taken to transporting, producing and distributing a majority of the illegal drugs in Wyoming. These groups transport marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine using the state's interstate highway system as well as commercial air carriers and package delivery services. Local drug trafficking organizations are responsible for smuggling illicit substances into Wyoming from other states such as Colorado, Utah and as far away as California.
During 2013, just over fourteen percent of all Wyoming drug rehab program enrollments were due to amphetamine (meth) addiction. In years past Wyoming began to see a significant increase in the price of methamphetamine. This was due to the controlled sale of pseudo-ephedrine; the primary ingredient in the production of meth. To regulate Mexican importation of pseudo-ephedrine, Mexico began to restrict the importation of cold medication containing this substance in 2005. In 2009 Mexico put an end to all importation of cold medication into the United States. During this same time period the U.S. put into place the same restrictions; effectively eradicating the resources necessary to produce meth. When these changes took hold many Wyoming residents resorted to prescription medication as an alternate way of getting high.
As residents of Wyoming began to turn to prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Hydrocodone and Vicodin to get their fix many of their friends, family members and even those working in the medical profession initially overlooked this escalating problem. During first part of the 2000's prescription drug abuse was not seen as a serious concern because these medications were widely available and perceived as "safe" by many people. Today, that misconception has changed and both medical professionals and law enforcement officials recognize the various dangers of prescription drug abuse. Illegally obtained prescription medications come from a number of different sources. Addicted individuals participate in fraud, doctor-shopping, forgery, stealing from friends and family, purchasing the medications over the internet as well as buying these drugs illegally on the street. During 2013, just over six percent of all Wyoming drug rehab enrollments citied prescription drug addiction as being their reason for receiving treatment.
Marijuana use, abuse and addiction are prevalent in Wyoming. During 2013, close to twenty percent of all individuals enrolling in Wyoming drug rehab centers stated that marijuana was their primary drug of addiction. The majority of marijuana in the state is smuggled in from Mexico by Mexican criminal groups. Local independent dealers produce high-potency marijuana indoors and distribute it throughout the state in small quantities.
Alcohol and Drug Trends
- An estimated 35,000 individuals in Wyoming over the age of 12 abused or were dependent on alcohol between 2008 and 2012. This makes up 7.8% of the state's population and was a percentage higher than the United State's national average for alcohol abuse and dependence.
- 7.4% of Wyoming residents over the age of 12 reported heavy alcohol use between the years 2008-2012.
- Between 2008 and 2012 an estimated 8,000 residents of Wyoming abused or were dependent on illicit drugs.
- Wyoming has the fifteenth highest drug overdose mortality rate (primarily from prescription drugs) in the United States.
Drug Rehab in Wyoming
When drug rehabilitation is required to help overcome alcohol or drug addiction there is a number of different treatment options for residents to choose from. Often, the first choice is whether to enroll in an inpatient or outpatient program. Residential inpatient drug rehab centers provide residents with twenty-four hour care at a live-in facility. Typically, all the necessary treatment services are included such as detoxification, medical care, behavioral therapy, addiction counseling and relapse prevention. While enrolled in a Wyoming inpatient residential drug rehab the recovering person is able to detox safely, reside in a substance-free environment, receive addiction rehabilitation counseling and are provided nutritious meals. These programs offer a structured atmosphere where the program participant is able to focus on their physical and psychological healing.
When inpatient drug rehab is not an option for the addicted individual they can choose to enroll in a Wyoming outpatient drug rehab. These programs allow for more flexibility than inpatient residential drug rehabs because the recovering individual is not removed from their regular lives. They are able to maintain their work, school and personal obligations while enrolled in outpatient treatment. Often, outpatient treatment involves meeting at the clinic several times a week for a few hours at a time. Choosing this type of drug rehab is less intensive than inpatient residential programs because the program participant is responsible for maintaining their sobriety when they are not at the clinic. Because the individual does not reside at the treatment facility these types of drug rehab programs are less able to focus on medical and psychological conditions resulting from the individual's alcohol or drug addiction.
Population in Wyoming:509,294
State Prison Population in Wyoming:1,980
Probation Population in Wyoming:4,418
Violent Crime Rate in Wyoming:
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Wyoming:
Cocaine seizures in Wyoming:0.4 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Wyoming:0.0 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Wyoming:2.7 kgs.
Marijuana seizures in Wyoming:0.0 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Wyoming:0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Wyoming:0.0 kgs.
Meth Lab Incidents in Wyoming:5
(DEA, Wyoming, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Wyoming:
- Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations control the majority of the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana in Wyoming.
- Local drug traffickers in Wyoming are supplied by distributors in Colorado, the southwest border states, and Mexico.
- Methamphetamine has emerged as the illicit drug of choice in Wyoming over the past few years.
- Club drugs, such as MDMA, have become more popular in Wyoming.
- Marijuana is widely abused throughout Wyoming.
- Cocaine is available in Wyoming, but isn't as popular to users as methamphetamine.
- Demand for heroin in Wyoming is not high.
- Wyoming cocaine prices have remained steady, although demand for the drug has declined in recent years.
- Cocaine is available in and around Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming in ounce quantities.
- Crack can be found in Wyoming but not in large quantities.
- Mexican heroin is available in Wyoming, but it does not present a significant law enforcement problem in Wyoming.
- The majority if the heroin found in Wyoming comes from sources in Colorado or Utah.
- Methamphetamine is the most prominent drug threat in Wyoming.
- In recent years, more methamphetamine arrests have been made in Wyoming than arrests for all other drugs.
- Clandestine methamphetamine laboratory seizures have been decreasing in Wyoming.
- Methamphetamine abuse is considered a serious problem to Wyoming law enforcement due to its correlation with violent crime, domestic violence, and child abuse.
- There were 5 meth lab incidents in Wyoming in 2007.
- GHB and MDMA as well as other club drugs can be found in Wyoming, and most come from sources of supply in Colorado.
- LSD and psilocybin mushrooms are popular "recreational drugs" on college campuses in Wyoming, but not as popular as other club drugs.
- Marijuana is abused broadly in Wyoming.
- Most of the marijuana found in Wyoming is of Mexican origin, although higher potency marijuana from British Columbia, Canada, can also be found in the state.
- Local marijuana is grown in remote outdoor areas and in smaller indoor grows in Wyoming.
- Valium (a benzodiazepine) and semi-synthetic narcotic painkillers (such as Vicodin, Dilaudid, and Percocet/Percodan) have been recognized as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Wyoming.
- Common methods of diversion of pharmaceuticals in Wyoming are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, and "doctor shopping".
- The diversion of prescription controlled substances is a problem in Wyoming.
- The most commonly abused prescription controlled substances in Wyoming are depressants, such as Valium (diazepam), and semi-synthetic narcotic painkillers, such as Vicodin (hydrocodone), Dilaudid (hydromorphone), and Percocet and Percodan (oxycodone).
- 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 Wyoming, in Park County.
- There were 78 drug violation arrests in Wyoming in 2007.
- The State of Wyoming is included in the Rocky Mountain HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), which is based in Denver, Colorado.