Alabama, the state known as the “Heart of Dixie,” has been attracting headlines for its drug problems lately. In 2009, a survey was done that determined the percentage of Alabama students who had used drugs in the past month was higher than the percentage of students nationally for almost every major substance. Just in the first two months of this year, 99 people were arrested on the University of Alabama’s campus. Authorities are calling it the biggest drug bust in the city’s history. What makes Alabama have such a large drug problem?
Drug Use Facts & Statistics in Alabama
The biggest reason for the drug problem in Alabama is the easy access to illegal drugs arriving from outside the state. Alabama’s access to Mexico, Jamaica and ports in Florida has made it a very popular channel for drug transportation. (In addition to its homegrown marijuana and the increasing danger of local manufacture of meth.) Unfortunately, local production of meth is on the rise. Conventional drugs such as cocaine, meth and marijuana are the main drugs arriving in and shipped through Alabama.
There are many networks through Alabama for drug transportation. Colombian, Mexican, and Caribbean Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs), regional and local DTOs and are the ones running networks that transport drugs through Alabama to other states. In addition, Mexican, Caribbean and regional DTOs have extensive distribution networks within Alabama itself.
Alabama Drug Use Information
Marijuana has always been very popular in Alabama. However, in the past few years, there has been a massive increase in the level of dealers and sizes of loads in the area. Only a few years ago, a seizure of 10 pounds of marijuana was fairly rare. Today, it is not uncommon for authorities in the Huntsville area to seize loads of 50 to 100 pounds. Oddly enough, the overall production of marijuana in the state has declined. This increase is due to sources of marijuana coming into the state (mostly from Mexico.)
While marijuana is the most popular drug in Alabama, cocaine continues to be a huge drug threat. The addictive nature of cocaine destroys otherwise productive lives and the violence associated with cocaine distribution cripples many of Alabama’s lower income neighborhoods. A large percentage of Alabama’s cocaine is supplied by Mexican sources in California, Arizona, and Texas.
Meth has become the biggest drug threat in Alabama. Although marijuana continues to be the number one drug of choice, meth has surpassed cocaine in abuse across the state. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of local meth labs discovered all around Alabama. Authorities have confirmed that the bulk of meth distribution in Alabama is dominated by DTOs supplied by sources in Mexico with transportation routes based in California, Arizona, and Texas. Authorities claim that the gaining popularity of meth usage in small towns is directly responsible for the increase of crime in the areas.3
In addition to both marijuana and meth, “club drugs” and heroin have presented quite a threat. “Club Drug” (most commonly ecstasy and LSD) abuse and distribution among young people is on the rise in Alabama. These drugs are readily available throughout the state, but are most commonly found on college campuses and at venues. In addition, while heroin has not been a major drug in Alabama over past years, authorities suggest that the presence of heroin is on the rise. Most of the heroin in Alabama is transported from Jamaica. Of the heroin found in Alabama, the drug is not only becoming available in a purer form, it also is becoming more affordable.
Alabama has even seen an increase in diverted pharmaceuticals across the state. (Drug diversion can be defined as legal, medical drugs being used by those who aren’t medically authorized or who don’t necessarily need it. The most common of these drugs include Oxycontin, Vicodin and Dilaudid.
Alabama Drug Treatment
There are many institutions and organizations in Alabama that help drug abusers kick the habit. However, these organizations are rendered useless until the user himself initiates the help (something which is not as common as it should be). In addition, Alabama governor, Robert Bentley, has been working with the National Governor’s Association (NGA) adamantly to end prescription drug abuse. As of yet, nothing has been done to prove drastically successful. With the positive intentions and vigorous work, something effective will be done soon.
If you are looking for an Alabama drug treatment program for yourself or a loved one there are a few things to consider. They include:
- Length of treatment
- Type of treatment
- If the program is covered by a health insurance plan for drug rehab in Alabama
- Results rate or outcome of treatment
Alaska Drug Treatment Resources & Information
Blog.al: Student Survey Shows Teen Drug Use in Alabama Exceeds National Average: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2009/12/post_321.html
Crime.blogs: 74 Arrested in Drug Sweep Centered on UA Campus
Drugwarfacts.org -Diversion of Pharmaceutical Drugs: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Diversion#sthash.B8VI010g.15UBAqp7.dpbs
NGA.org: States Focus on Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction: http://www.nga.org/cms/home/news-room/news-releases/page_2012/col2-content/states-focus-on-prescription-dru.html