Cocaine is transported throughout the United States primarily by private and commercial vehicles. The National Drug Intelligence Center monitors cocaine and other illicit drug trafficking across the United States. Their findings show that between 2008 and 2010, Southern California and Southern Texas were the main entry points for cocaine here in the United States. A majority of this cocaine was then distributed to other heavily populated cities in the eastern parts of the country. One city that has become a cornerstone in wholesale cocaine distribution is Atlanta, Georgia.
The National Drug Intelligence Center found that between 2008 and 2010 a great deal of the cocaine smuggled into California was transported through the Pacific Region to Canada. The National Drug Intelligence Center's research also showed that the transnational criminal organizations from Colombia and the Dominican Republic continued to use maritime and commercial air conveyances to export cocaine into New York City and Miami to be distributed along the East Coast. Statistics show that cocaine that is smuggled across the Southwest Border is typically distributed among the Southwest drug markets close to where it is brought over.
It is no surprise that cocaine is still one of the leading drugs of abuse here in the United States but the quantity of this drug has decreased since 2007. The National Drug Intelligence Center reports that the quantity of cocaine has been decreased due to inter-cartel fighting and counterdrug activity. These actions have made it difficult for drug smugglers to move the cocaine from South America up towards the United States. Additionally, Colombia has seen a decrease in cocaine production (down 43%) from 510 pure metric tons of cocaine in 2006 down to 290 pure metric tons of cocaine in 2009. The National Drug Intelligence Center notes that the lower levels of cocaine here in the United States can also be attributed to an increase in cocaine exportation to non-American markets, primarily Europe. Here in the United States, federal agencies seized 30% less cocaine between 2009 and 2010 than back in 2006.
Due to the lower quantity of cocaine here in the United States, cocaine abuse statistics have also decreased. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that in 2009 the amount of cocaine use among those who took the survey (ages 12 and older) declined from 2.5% in 2006 to 1.9% in 2009. The same survey also found that the number of people (over the age of 12) who first tried cocaine dropped from 977,000 in 2006 to 617,000 in 2009; this is the lowest level recorded since 1973.
The lower quantity of cocaine has caused a lot of drug pushers to "cut" their product with other substances. Many Colombian producers are adding a substance called levamisole to their wholesale quantities of cocaine. Researchers suspect that levamisole is preferred by cocaine users as a cutting agent as opposed to other lower-cost substances because it enhances the effects of cocaine. In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency Cocaine Signature Program found that nearly 77% of all samples collected contained levamisole. This is a drastic increase from the less than 10% of samples containing levamisole back in 2007 when a decrease in cocaine quantity was first noted. An additional note on the additive levamisole, some cocaine users who have ingested cocaine containing levamisole have been diagnosed with agranulocytosis. Agranulocytosis is the destruction of bone marrow, making the body unable to effectively fight off life-threatening infections.
Monitoring the Future is an ongoing survey about the attitudes, behaviors and values of American high school students, college students and young adults. Results from their yearly studies have shown that as far back as 1977, 33% of twelfth graders said that it would be "fairly easy or very easy" for them to get cocaine. This statistics rose to 59% by 1989 then dropped some in 1994 to 47%. In 2007 the perceived availability of cocaine then fell back significantly to 36% where it has remained through 2010. Another national survey conducted by Monitoring the Future found that the yearly use of cocaine by twelfth graders dropped from 5.1% in 2005 to 2.9% in 2010. This is the lowest recorded percentage since 1999.
The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that there were 637,000 people (1,700 a day) over the age of 12 who used cocaine for the very first time during the 12 months before the survey was taken. This is a significant decrease from the 1.0 million first time cocaine users over the age of 12 back in 2002. Cocaine statistics on first time use in persons over the age of 12 from 2009 (617,000) and 2008 (722,000) are similar.
A majority, 71.6% of the .6 million first time cocaine users in 2010, were 18 years of age or older reports the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They state that the average age of a first time cocaine user was 21 years old in 2010. This statistic is similar to the averages reported during 2009 (20 years old) and 2008 (19 years old) for the age of first cocaine use.
An additional drop in cocaine use was found in the workplace. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated found that the number of positive workplace drug tests for cocaine has declined since 2006. They also note that the first six months of data for 2010 saw the lowest percentage of positive workplace drug tests for cocaine use on record since 1997.
A recent study on 17 different countries conducted by Louisa Degenhardt at the University of New South Wales found that the United States, despite our strict drug policies, has the highest levels of cocaine and marijuana abuse. This study reports that 16.3% of the people living in the United States have used cocaine at some point during their lifetime. This percentage is much higher than any of the other countries surveyed. New Zealand had the second highest number of cocaine users with 4.3% of their population having tried cocaine at one point or another in their life.
The 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment reports the availability of Ecstasy (MDMA) has increased here in the United States. Much of the Ecstasy in the U.S. is produced in Canada by Asian criminal organizations. Mexican transnational criminal organizations are also responsible for trafficking the drug into America. Some drug markets are seeing an increase in the availability of this drug including New York, New Jersey, the Great Lakes, the Southwest and the Pacific Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Regions.
An analysis in 2010 conducted by the National Drug Threat Survey showed that 52.3% of those surveyed felt there was a moderate to high level of Ecstasy available in their jurisdiction. This is an increase from the year before (2009) when 51.5% of the survey respondents indicated a moderate to high level of Ecstasy availability in their jurisdiction.
Current seizure data reveals higher levels of Ecstasy seizures here in the United States since fiscal year 2007. Ecstasy statistics for the United States show that in fiscal year 2010, more than 15.1 million Ecstasy tablets were seized. The Northern Border of the United States is where the largest amount of Ecstasy is seized each year. The El Paso Intelligence Center and the National Seizure System report that in fiscal year 2006 more than 1.9 million Ecstasy tablets were seized at the Northern Border. This amount substantially increased by fiscal year 2010 to more than 3.9 million Ecstasy tablets seized at the Northern Border of America.
Ecstasy and marijuana drug trafficking along the Northern Border is dominated by Ethnic Asian drug traffickers but outlaw motorcycle gangs, Indo-Canadian (Indo-Canadians are Canadians whose origins trace back to India) traffickers and independent Caucasian groups are also active participants. The El Paso Intelligence Center and the National Seizure System for 2010 reveals the main ports of entry for Ecstasy and marijuana coming across the Northern Border includes Washington State, Michigan, New York and Vermont. Additional ports of entry are the Akwesasne Indian Reservation in New York, as well as air and sea routes. The majority of the maritime vessels smuggling Ecstasy into the United States take place via the waterways of Northwestern Washington State.
2009 Ecstasy statistics show that the drug Ecstasy (MDMA) accounted for 28% of all the Northern Border drug seizures during that year. 2010 Ecstasy statistics show that it accounted for 11% of all the drug seizures along the Northern Border (as of November 2010 per the El Paso Intelligence Center and the National Seizure System). Additional information from The El Paso Intelligence Center and the National Seizure System shows that large amounts of Ecstasy are not trafficked across the Southwest Border regularly.
The National Drug Intelligence Center notes that Ecstasy is also being produced here in the United States, however on a much smaller scale than what is being produced in Canada. Information from the El Paso Intelligence Center and the National Seizure System shows that in 2009, 11 Ecstasy labs were seized in the United States. Initial information for 2010 shows that 2 Ecstasy labs were seized in America. One of the seized labs was located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles. It was able to produce extremely large quantities of Ecstasy as well as being the stash house and home base for the drug dealers responsible for producing the drug.
Ecstasy statistics for 2010 find that Ecstasy trafficking in the Southwest Border region is steadily increasing each year. The 2010 El Paso Intelligence Center and the National Seizure System shows 547,707 Ecstasy tablets were seized in the Southwest Border region during fiscal year 2009. The following year, (2010) 1,545,607 Ecstasy tablets were seized in the southwest Border region. California saw the largest increase in Ecstasy tablets seizures, especially in Orange County and San Diego.
The 2010 Monitoring the Future study found that between 2009 and 2010 there was an increase of Ecstasy use among 8th and 10th graders. In 2009, 1.3% of 8th graders used Ecstasy compared to 3.7% of 8th graders who used Ecstasy in 2010. In 2009, 2.4% of 10th graders used Ecstasy compared to 4.7% of 10th graders who used Ecstasy in 2010. The Drug Abuse Warning Network report for 2009 found that 973,591 emergency department visits took place because of illicit drug use. Of this 973,591, 47% involved one or more illicit drug taken alone or in combination with pharmaceuticals, alcohol, or both. In 2009, the Drug Abuse Warning Network shows that 22,816 people entered the emergency department due to MDMA (Ecstasy) use. Ecstasy statistics estimate this to be 2.3% of the total illicit drug use population who entered the emergency department in 2009.
Ecstasy statistics from the Drug Abuse Warning Network on emergency department visits for 2009 show that of the total 22,816 people who entered the emergency department because of Ecstasy use, 13,945 of them were male and 8,871 of them were female. None of the people entering the emergency department due to Ecstasy use in 2009 were under the age of 11. 4,336 of the total 22,816 people entering the emergency department in 2009 because of Ecstasy use were between the ages of 12-17 years old. 6,697 of the total 22,816 people entering the emergency department in 2009 because of Ecstasy use were between the ages of 18-20 years old. 5,274 of the total 22,816 people entering the emergency department in 2009 because of Ecstasy use were between the ages of 21-24 years old. 3,134 of the total 22,816 people entering the emergency department in 2009 because of Ecstasy use were between the ages of 25-29 years old. 1,775 of the total 22,816 people entering the emergency department in 2009 because of Ecstasy use were between the ages of 30-34 years old. 1,055 of the total 22,816 people entering the emergency department in 2009 because of Ecstasy use were between the ages of 35-44 years old. 523 of the total 22,816 people entering the emergency department in 2009 because of Ecstasy use were between the ages of 45-54 years old. The report shows that nobody entered the emergency department due to Ecstasy use older than 54 years old during 2009.
Nationally, marijuana use and abuse is on the rise as noted in the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment. This is especially true for today's youth whose use of marijuana had gradually been declining over the last 10 years. This increase in America's adolescents using or abusing marijuana was preceded and accompanied by a generally lowered perception in the associated risks of using this drug. Many feel that these lowered perceptions in the associated risks of marijuana use have come about due to the national debate over legalizing this drug. Today's youth hear conflicting messages regarding marijuana legalization and decriminalization making the choice to try this drug all the more enticing. During 2009, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that marijuana ranked first among drug users over the age of 12.
Marijuana cultivation in the United States and Mexico continues to thrive. This results in marijuana's increased levels of availability notes the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment. In addition to cannabis cultivation taking place in the United States and Mexico, a new form of this drug is being created synthetically. These synthetic cannabinoids are sold as "legal alternatives to marijuana" and are causing a great deal of problems for their users. Synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice and K2 are sold at some head shops depending on the state you live in. There are no long term studies regarding the toxicity or metabolites of these substances but they are known to have a similar abuse potential as regular marijuana.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in 2009, an estimated 8.7% of people living in the United States over the age of 12 were current illegal drug users. This statistic is an increase from 2008 when 8% of the people living in the U.S. over the age of 12 were current illegal drug users. As mentioned above, marijuana has seen an increase in use here in America. This is especially true among young adults between the ages of 18 to 25. This group makes up the largest age range of current illegal drug abusers. Marijuana abuse among people 18 to 25 increased from 16.5% in 2008 to 18.1% in 2009.
Current marijuana statistics also show that adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 have increased their use/abuse of marijuana. The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health notes 6.7% of adolescents between the ages of 12 to17 reported being current users of marijuana in 2008. This percentage rose in 2009 to 7.3% of adolescents between the ages of 12 to17 reporting current use of marijuana. This same national survey found that in 2009, an estimated 2.4 million people in the United States tried marijuana for the very first time. Of the estimated 2.4 million people who used marijuana for the first time in 2009 many of them were young adults. The average age of a person who tried marijuana in 2009 was 17 years old.
The most current report from the Treatment Episode Data Set revealed that in 2009, 1.1 million people enrolled in publicly funded drug rehab programs. The largest number of admissions into these programs was for opiate addiction (primarily heroin) at 36.8%. The second largest number of admissions into publicly funded drug rehab programs was for marijuana addiction (31%) followed by cocaine (16.1%) and meth (9.5%). These statistics show an increase in publicly funded drug treatment program admissions for opiates and marijuana from 2005 to 2009 and a drop in admissions for cocaine and meth.
Information from the National Drug Intelligence Center reports that Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations are responsible for distributing the majority of the heroin, marijuana and meth currently available here in America. They also note that production of these illicit substances is on the rise in Mexico. In the last ten years, Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations have found a competitive advantage here in the United States and have tapped into drug markets previously controlled by other drug traffickers. This includes drug markets off the East Coast where Colombian drug traffickers had once been the dominant supplier.
The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that marijuana from Mexico comes into the United States primarily through Arizona, California and Southern Texas. Additionally, high-potency marijuana from Canada comes into the country though ports of entry in Washington State, Michigan, New York State and Vermont. Both Mexican and high-potency Canadian marijuana are distributed throughout the country in all major drug markets. Marijuana grown here in the United States is typically used in the region where it was cultivated as well as distributed across the country. Marijuana production statistics from the National Drug Intelligence Center reports that an estimated 12,000 hectares (one hectare is approximately 2.47 acres) of marijuana was cultivated in Mexico during 2008. In 2005, 5,600 hectares of marijuana was cultivated. This shows a substantial increase in marijuana production since 2005.
When it comes to the availability of marijuana, students surveyed in the 2010 Monitoring the Future study stated that it would be "fairly or very easy" to get the drug. This survey reported that 41% of 8th graders, 69% of 10th graders and 82% of 12th graders thought that they would easily be able to obtain marijuana. The 2010 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study reports that past-year teen marijuana use saw an increase from 32% in 2008 up to 39% in 2010.
The same 2010 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study notes that in 2010, adolescents in 9th through 12th grades were more likely than in 2008 to have smoked marijuana. Statistics from this report show that 49% of the 9th through 12th graders surveyed for the 2010 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study claim to have tried marijuana at some point during their lifetime. 4 out of the 10 who stated marijuana use during their lifetime (39%) had used the drug during the 12 months before the survey was taken. 25% of these students report using marijuana in the month before the survey. This is estimated to be over 4 million 9th though 12th grader smoking marijuana in the past month.
The 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment reports that because of Mexico's increased production of heroin, more of this dangerous drug is now available here in the United States. This increase in the quantity of heroin in the U.S. continues even as Colombian production steadily declines. This assessment also reports that in 2009 the amount of illegal poppy cultivation in Mexico was only surpassed by Afghanistan. Statistics show that a vast majority of the heroin produced in Mexico is created for use here in the United States.
The Southwest Border of the United States (Southern California, South Texas and Arizona) is the primary entry point for heroin coming into the United States. This is because of the large quantity of Mexican heroin brought into the U.S. as well as the South American heroin brought in by the Mexican transnational criminal organizations. The majority of heroin brought over from Mexico remains in the Western states but it is also increasingly making its way towards Eastern markets of the United States. More and more South American heroin is finding its way across the Southwest Border and is subsequently transported to East Coast drug markets. It is then sold alongside South American heroin that has been smuggled into drug markets in New York City, Chicago, and Miami by Dominican and Colombian transnational criminal organizations.
The El Paso Intelligence Center, National Seizure System reports that 945 kilograms of heroin was seized along the Southwest Border during 2010. They also report that during 2010, 660 kilograms of heroin was seized via commercial airports. This increase of heroin into the United States has opened up additional heroin drug markets in Illinois, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
Statistics from the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment notes that even though South American heroin continues to be available here in the United States, the amount of the drug available is declining and will continue to do so as time goes on. This is due to the reduction of poppy cultivation in Colombia. 2009 saw the lowest level of poppy cultivation in Colombia since the United States Government began tracking these statistics in 1995. In 2009, only 1,100 hectares (one hectares is approximately 2.47 acres) of poppy was cultivated in Colombia. This only yielded an approximated 2.1 metric tons of pure heroin.
This decrease in Colombian heroin coincides with a decrease in the quantity of heroin seized at United States airports. Heroin smuggling through airports was the preferred route of importing the drug by South American heroin smugglers between 2004 through 2009. There was an increase in the amount of heroin smuggled into the United States between 2009 and 2010 due to a significant government intelligence gap. In 2009, the El Paso Intelligence Center, National Seizure System reports that 798 kilograms of heroin was smuggled through Southwest Border areas and 321 kilograms of heroin was smuggled through commercial airports. Then, with the intelligence gap in 2010, 945 kilograms of heroin was smuggled across Southwest Border areas and 660 kilograms of heroin was smuggled across through commercial airports, a 5 year high.
The East Coast of the United States is seeing a drastic increase in Mexican black tar heroin and brown powder heroin. This area of the country had predominantly seen white powder heroin in the past. The 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment speculates that this increase in Mexican black tar heroin and brown powder heroin on the East Coast is the result of eastward expansion of Mexican drug trafficking organizations. They also note that this increase may be due to an ongoing heroin smuggling trend or even a change in the way heroin trafficking dynamics are conducted.
2011 National Drug Threat Assessment investigative reporters have revealed that heroin producers down in Mexico may be attempting Colombian processing techniques in order to create white powder heroin. As of yet, signature analysis has not been able to confirm this speculation. If this information proves to be true, it is an additional sign that Mexican trafficking organizations are looking to expand into the United States white powder heroin markets.
The National Drug Intelligence Center's Heroin-Related Overdoses & Overdose Deaths Update 2010 reports that some cocaine dealers are switching to selling heroin because of the ongoing shortage of cocaine and the increased availability of heroin. This change has seen current heroin users having increased access to their drug of choice. It has also created new heroin users in some Northwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. These new heroin users are often the result of their primary drug of choice, crack or cocaine, not being available. This switch from crack or cocaine to heroin is surprising due to the drastic difference between the stimulating effects of crack and cocaine vs. the depressive effect of heroin.
Across the United States there has been an increase in heroin-related overdoes. Between 2008 and 2010 there was an increase in heroin-related overdoses reported in more than 60 counties spread over at least 30 states in America. This increase is attributed to new heroin users being unfamiliar with their personal tolerance level. It is also thought to include heroin-related overdoses brought on by past users resuming heroin use after long periods of abstinence. These users are under the false impression that they can ingest the same levels of the drug they previously used. What they do not realize is that during the time they were abstinent, their tolerance dropped. This means that the amount of heroin they once ingested is now too much and may cause them to overdose. There is also a small portion of the heroin-related overdoses that are a result of controlled prescription drug users switching to heroin because it is now cheaper than their controlled prescription drugs.
In 2009 an estimated 630 pure metric tons of heroin from Afghanistan was produced. However, the U.S. Government, Major Illicit-Drug-Producing Nations: Cultivation and Production Estimates, 2005–2009, March 2011 report states that here in the United States, the availability of Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin will continue to be limited. The majority of the heroin from Southwest Asia is destined for China, Iran, Canada, Russia and Europe.
Crack Cocaine Statistics
Drug statistics from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health on crack cocaine and other illicit drugs found that an estimated 22.6 million people over the age of 12 were currently abusing illicit drugs. This represents 8.9% of the nation's population who are 12 or older. The results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that between 2002 and 2010 then number of first time crack cocaine users dropped from 337,000 in 2002 to 83,000 in 2010. In the month before taking the survey, 1.5 million of the illicit drug users over the age of 12 had used cocaine or crack cocaine. Young adults between the ages of 12-17 were asked how easy it would be to obtain specific drugs such as marijuana, heroin, LSD, etc. When asked if it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain crack cocaine only 20% responded yes it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain this specific drug. This is a decrease from 2009 when 26.5% of those questioned responded yes it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain crack cocaine. There was also a decrease in the perceived availability of cocaine from 25% down to 19%.
Crack cocaine statistics from the US Sentencing Commission found that in federal court, low-level crack cocaine dealers and first-time offenders who were sentenced for trafficking crack cocaine received an average sentence of 10 years and 6 months for their offense. This is only 18% less than a person who was sentenced for committing murder or manslaughter, 59% longer than the average prison sentence for rape and 38% longer than the average prison sentence for a person guilty of a weapons offense. This same report noted that only 5.5% of all the federal crack cocaine defendants were considered high-level drug dealers. In 2007, US Federal courts found 5,477 individuals guilty of crack cocaine related crimes. Of the 5,477 individuals found guilty of crack cocaine related crimes, more than 95% had been involved in crack cocaine trafficking.
The 2010 Office of National Drug Control's Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program found that in all their sites, cocaine was abused more commonly as crack cocaine rather than powder cocaine. Crack cocaine statistics from this survey show that in 5 of the 10 sites, more than 10% of the arrestees acknowledged using crack cocaine within a 30 day period before being arrested. Atlanta, Georgia was the city where the highest number of arrestees (17%) admitted to using crack cocaine within the 30 days before they were arrested. Washington DC had the lowest number (4%) of arrestees who admitted to using crack cocaine within the 30 days before they were arrested.
At 6 of the 10 sites of the Office of National Drug Control's Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program, crack cocaine use by arrestees had declined by more than half. Cities such as Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington DC saw the greatest decrease in arrestees using crack cocaine. An exception to this trend was in New York where 11% of those arrested admitted to crack cocaine use in 2010, 10% of those arrested admitted to crack cocaine use in 2009 and 7% of those arrested admitted to crack cocaine use in 2008. Portland has seen crack cocaine levels remain stable since 2007 with 10-15% of those arrested admitting to using crack cocaine.
Arrestees who were part of the Office of National Drug Control's Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program were also asked about how often they used each drug during the past 30 days. Among the arrestees who admitted to using crack cocaine in the last 30 days the average number of crack cocaine using days ranged from 9 days a month (Denver and Chicago) to 17 days a month (Atlanta). Atlanta's average of 17 days of crack cocaine use out of the prior 30 days may seem like a lot when compared to other cities but it is a decrease from 2008's 20 days of crack cocaine use out of the prior 30 days.
Data from the Office of National Drug Control's Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program shows that crack cocaine users began using the drug at a later age than marijuana users. On average, the age of first crack cocaine use was generally in the mid 20's for most arrestees. It ranged from an average of 22 years of age in Portland, Oregon to 28 years old in Chicago, Illinois.
The 2010 Office of National Drug Control's Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program report states that arrestees reported acquiring crack cocaine less often than in previous years whether it was for their own use or someone else's. An example of this is Charlotte, North Carolina where the survey found a drop in crack cocaine acquisition from 27% of the arrestees during 2000, to 20% during 2007, down to 7% during 2010.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention report for 2009 shows that 16,204 of those who participated in the United States High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey had used some form of cocaine one or more times. This includes powder cocaine, crack cocaine or freebase. Of the 16,204 high school youths who acknowledged using some form of cocaine, 8,214 of them were female and 7,927 of them were male.
Despite growing public concern about meth abuse and addiction, the meth problem here in the United States appears to be steadily declining over the past seven years among secondary school students (2010 Monitoring the Future Study). It is estimated that in 2010, the use of meth was down by 60%-80% from 1999's statistics among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students when meth use was first measured. Since 2002, the perceived risk of crystal meth and methamphetamine use has increased. This is thought to be the primary reason for the national decrease in meth abuse and addiction.
The 2009 Treatment Episode Data Set reports that in 2007 the average age of a person entering drug rehab treatment sighting meth addiction as their primary drug of abuse was more than twice as likely to be over the age of 40 (23% over the age of 40) when compared to treatment admissions in 1997 (10% over the age of 40) sighting meth as the primary drug of choice. During this same time period the number of meth treatment admissions younger than 20 years old dropped from 12% in 1997 to 6% in 2007.
In 1997, 81% of meth treatment admissions were white/non-Hispanic, but in 2007 only 65% of meth treatment admissions were white/non-Hispanic. Treatment Episode Data Set Meth Statistics from the 2009 report states that the number of meth admissions of the Hispanic nationality more than doubled between 1997 (9%) and 2007 (21%). From 1997 through 2007 (when the most current Treatment Episode Data Set was conducted) the majority of meth treatment admissions were from the Western part of the United States (64%-76%).
Meth statistics from the 2009 Treatment Episode Data Set note that the amount of meth treatment admissions who primarily smoked the drug grew between 1997 (27% of meth treatment admissions primarily smoked meth) to 2007 (67% of meth treatment admissions primarily smoked meth). Data shows that meth treatment admissions for injection drug use have decreased since 1997 with only 1 in 5 reporting injection as their usual route of administering the drug in 2007. Additional information from the 2009 Treatment Episode Data Set shows that between 1997 and 2007 alcohol and marijuana were the two other most commonly abused drugs among persons entering treatment sighting meth as their primary drug of abuse. Overall, the number of meth treatment admissions has decreased since 2005. Treatment researchers feel that drug rehab providers may need to consider accommodating language or cultural needs of the Hispanic community since their treatment admissions have increased two fold over the past 10 years.
Methamphetamine produced in Mexico is being smuggled into the U.S. and distributed across the country. Mexican drug traffickers bring meth across the border and supply a majority of the methamphetamine in the western United States. The meth transported into the United States from Mexico and the meth created in California superlabs (superlabs are meth labs that are able to produce 10 or more pounds of meth in a single production cycle) is primarily consumed on the west coast and in the southwestern United States. East coast methamphetamine is typically produced in small domestic labs and consumed locally within the region it was created. Recently, the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment reported that the same Mexican drug traffickers supplying the western U.S. are beginning to smuggle meth across to the eastern drug markets. The eastern drug markets are also now receiving meth that is produced in California superlabs.
Current 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment statistics report that meth seizures, prices and purity show that this drug is going to remain a constant drug threat here in America. Data shows that meth's availability is increasing in drug markets in all areas of the United States. Since 2007, the price for meth has continued to decline while its purity level has increased. Additional info from the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment shows that meth seizure rates along the U.S.\Mexico border and inside the United States have also increased since 2007.
In 2006, the Government of Mexico created meth precursor chemical controls that momentarily hindered major chemical supply chains from bring these chemicals into Mexico. Precursor chemicals used to make meth include: ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenyl acetic acid. Quick to get production back on track, Mexican drug producers adapted their production methods and operating procedures. They found ways to diversify chemicals and began using new chemical smuggling routes. Additionally, Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations were able to restore some of the precursor chemical supply lines once previously established. With these changes in place, by mid-2009 meth production had found a way to "comeback" in Mexico.
With each passing year, meth addiction remains at the forefront of the nation's drug epidemic. However, the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that the number of past month meth users dropped between 2006 (731,000 past month meth users) and 2010 (353,000 past month meth users). This same survey found that the number of first time meth users among people 12 and older also declined. In 2007 the number of yearly first time meth users was estimated at 157,000. The number of yearly first time meth users in 2010 was estimated at 105,000. In 2010, the average age of a first time meth user was 18 years old which is similar to previous years (2002-2009).
Meth statistics from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health notes that from 2002 to 2010 the number of meth users among the 18 through 25 year old age group dropped from .6% to .2%. As of November 2011, the El Paso Intelligence Center reports that there were 9,051 meth incidents (meth labs seizures, chemical/equipment/glassware seizures, and dumpsites) during 2011.
The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 1.2 million Americans over the age of 12 used meth at least once in the 12 months before the survey was taken. Meth statistics from the 2010 Monitoring the Future study reported that 1.2% of 8th graders, 1.6% of 10th graders and 1% of 12th graders used meth at least one time in the 12 months before the survey was taken.