Enforcement Officers: 10,409
Probation Population: 41,757
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 21
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 357.9 kgs.
Heroin: 0. kgs.
Marijuana: 332.6 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 163 (DEA, state, and
Top 8 cities in AlabamaBirmingham
Drugs and Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug Situation: The availability
and abuse of major drugs continue to increase in Alabama leading to the need
for more addiction treatment centers. Conventional drugs such as cocaine,
methamphetamine and marijuana comprise the bulk of drugs transported in and out
of the state and those reportedly abused by those entering drug rehab. Although
Colombian, Mexican, and Caribbean DTOs are most commonly responsible for the
transportation and distribution of the cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine,
there are local DTOs participating in area distribution as well. Outlaw
Motorcycle Gangs are also supplying methamphetamine on a limited basis through
their own networks within the state.
Cocaine: Although most drug seizures and arrests are
attributed to marijuana, cocaine hydrochloride and crack cocaine continue to be
the largest drug threat in Alabama. A large percentage of Alabamas
cocaine originates from Central and South American drug cartels and is
transported from sources in California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.
Wholesale levels of cocaine are sold in hydrochloride form to avoid the harsh
federal sentencing guidelines associated with crack cocaine. Generally, it is
the street-level distributors that cook the cocaine hydrochloride into crack
Heroin: Heroin found in Alabama is available in a
purer form that can be smoked or snorted and is also becoming more affordable
which is making the drug more attractive to new users. The number of heroin
exhibits submitted for analysis is not of epidemic proportions but when
considering the drug addiction treatment admission rates there is a noticeable
increase in heroin abusers. The rise in admitted heroin abusers is a reflection
of the lower cost of heroin.
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is readily
available and widely manufactured, trafficked and used throughout Alabama. It
competes with marijuana as the drug of choice among those in rural
areas of Alabama entering drug rehab. Bulk shipments are supplied by sources in
Mexico with transportation routes through California, Arizona, and Texas.
Locally manufactured methamphetamine is produced in rural clandestine
labs.Smaller quantities via the Nazi and Red
Phosphorous methods are produced with ingredients obtained from
convenience, hardware and agricultural stores. Chemicals not so accessible,
such as anhydrous ammonia, are stolen from fixed tanks on farms or at gas
companies. According to statistics from the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC),
the number of methamphetamine labs in Alabama continues to steadily
Club Drugs: Club Drug abuse and
distribution among young people is on the rise in Alabama. Increases in
arrests, overdoses and seizures of these designer drugs have been reported and
indicate a trend toward increased availability and trafficking of Ecstasy, LSD,
and Ketamine. MDMA, LSD, GHB, and Ketamine are readily available throughout the
state, more commonly found on college campuses and at rave venues. GHB and MDMA
have emerged as the club drugs of choice and the end-users are young Caucasians
at all economic levels but users are particularly college students and rave
participants. Alabamas stateside sources of supply include Miami,
Tennessee, and Georgia.
Marijuana: Marijuana use in Alabama is on
the increase, especially among youth ranging from ages 18-20. While cost and
availability is contributed to the increased abuse, there is a belief among
those buying and selling that there are little consequences if apprehended.
Although marijuana is not seen as a dangerous drug when compared to other
drugs, it does cause addiction, primarily psychological, which is difficult to
treat. Statistics show that hard drug users almost always started with
marijuana as their first drug experience.
Pharmaceutical drugs such as Codeine, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Nembutal,
Percodan, Percocet, Valium, Vicodin, and Xanax are abused. Oxycodone or
OxyContin has penetrated the illicit drug market at an alarming rate and in
some areas of Alabama account for more deaths than any other pharmaceutical
drug. The illegal diversion, distribution, and abuse of oxycodone products,
particularly OxyContin, have become a significant threat in Alabama. There has
been an increase in the number of pharmacy burglaries and robberies as abusers
and distributors seek to obtain this and other prescription drugs. Significant
profit potential makes OxyContin attractive to both illicit distributors and
DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with
state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response
to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities
across the nation. There have been 348 deployments completed resulting in
14,794 arrests of violent drug criminals as of June 2002. There have been eight
MET deployments in the State of Alabama since the inception of the program:
Selma; Pritchard; Alabaster; Enterprise; Gadsden; Anniston; Bessemer, and
Green/Tuscaloosa Counties. These deployments resulted in 189 arrests and the
seizure of .14 pounds of cocaine, 9.7 pounds of crack cocaine, 4.8 pounds of
marijuana, and 3.4 pounds of methamphetamine. Also seized were 10 vehicles, 34
weapons and over $82,000 in U.S. currency and property.
Special Topics: On December 6,
2001, the ONDCP named the Gulf Coast HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking
Area) the Outstanding HIDTA of the Nation for 2001.
More Addiction Treatment Centers are
Needed:The increase in
the availability of illegal drugs along with the "affordability" of drugs like
heroin attributes to the growing need for more quality drug rehab centers in