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District of Columbia Drug Rehab

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  State Facts
  Population: 572,059
  Law Enforcement Officers: 10,713
  State Prison Population: 8,652
  Probation Population: 12,129
  Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: -
  2001 Federal Drug Seizures
  Cocaine: 18.7 kgs.
  Heroin: 9.1 kgs.
  Methamphetamine: 0.1 kgs.
  Marijuana: 34.5 kgs.
  Clandestine Laboratories: 0 (DEA, state, and local)

Top City in Washington, D.C.


The distribution and abuse of illegal drugs pose a serious threat to the safety and security of individuals who live and work in the District of Columbia (D.C.) and rug rehab programs are needed among other resources to handle the problem. The District has a high homicide rate, and many of the killings are drug-related. Approximately 60,000 drug abusers reside in D.C.—over 10 percent of the population— resulting in higher treatment-related costs per capita than any state in the nation.

drug rehab / drug addiction - cocaineCocaine:

Cocaine, particularly crack, represents the most serious drug threat to the District. Cocaine addiction is associated with more drug rehab admissions to publicly funded facilities, emergency department mentions, and deaths than is abuse of any other drug. Cocaine is readily available and relatively inexpensive. Approximately 75 percent of all federal drug sentences in D.C. are crack-related, and about 9 percent are powdered cocaine-related. Additionally, most Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigations are cocaine-related. Colombia-based drug trafficking organizations are the primary sources supplying D.C. based criminal groups, frequently Colombian and Dominican, with wholesale quantities of cocaine. These criminal groups and other less dominant groups then supply neighborhood-based crews (a term frequently used to describe gangs in D.C.), typically African American or to a much lesser extent Hispanic, with smaller quantities of powdered and crack cocaine. The crews usually distribute the cocaine at open-air markets. Retail distribution networks are well established in neighborhoods, public housing projects, and on street corners. Much is needed by way of addiction treatment and drug rehabilitation programs to handle the cocaine problem alone. Heroin, primarily South American, represents a growing threat to D.C. because the number of abusers is high and continues to increase the need for effective drug rehab centers.

drug rehab / drug addiction - opium poppyHeroin:

Long-term heroin abusers who inject the drug continue to purchase low-purity heroin. However, high-purity heroin is purchased, particularly in Northwest D.C., by a predominantly younger and more suburban abuser population from Virginia and Maryland that snorts the drug. Heroin is often abused in combination with other drugs. Colombian drug trafficking organizations are the dominant wholesale suppliers of South American heroin to D.C.-based criminal groups, typically Colombian and Dominican. Nigerian and other West African criminal groups typically supply wholesale quantities of Southeast Asian heroin to other Nigerian and West African criminal groups based in the District. Pakistani, Nigerian, and other criminal groups usually supply Southwest Asian heroin to other Pakistani and Nigerian criminal groups in D.C. Mexican heroin is only sporadically available. Mexican criminal groups are the primary black tar and brown powdered heroin distributors at the wholesale and retail levels. African American and Hispanic crews are the dominant retail heroin distributors of South American, Southeast Asian, and Southwest Asian heroin. Marijuana is the most readily available, least expensive, and widely abused illicit drug in D.C. However, the drug poses a lower threat than cocaine or heroin because the District had no deaths in 1999 related to marijuana abuse, and abuse is not frequently associated with violent crime.

drug rehab / drug addiction - marijuana plantMarijuana:

Most of the marijuana available in D.C. is supplied from areas including Arizona, Southern California, Texas, Jamaica, and Mexico and transported to the District. However, smaller quantities are produced locally, mostly at indoor locations. Jamaican and Mexican criminal groups are the dominant wholesale distributors of marijuana in the District. Crews, many with a propensity toward violence, distribute retail quantities of marijuana as do many criminal groups and independent dealers. Legislation enacted in June 2001 makes penalties for possession and distribution of marijuana much more severe than in the past. Methamphetamine is increasingly available and abused, but is not yet a serious problem in the District although drug rehab programs are needed to curb the demand before it gets completely out of hand.

drug rehab / drug addiction - methamphetaminedrug rehab / drug addiction - Methamphetamine Labs SeizedMethamphetamine:

Methamphetamine is less often abused than cocaine, heroin, or marijuana. Law enforcement officials in the District seize gram and ounce quantities much more frequently than pound quantities. Most methamphetamine available in D.C. is produced in southwestern states using the hydriodic acid/red phosphorus method; however, methamphetamine produced using the phenyl-2-propanone method is also available. Most methamphetamine transported to and seized in D.C. is destined for distribution in surrounding states. Wholesale distribution of methamphetamine in D.C. is limited and is usually controlled by Mexican criminal groups and, to a lesser extent, Asian, Colombian, and Middle Eastern criminal groups. Various groups distribute methamphetamine at the retail level in the District, including teenagers and young adults who distribute the drug at raves and nightclubs. Other dangerous drugs are a growing threat to the District and include the club drugs MDMA, GHB, and ketamine; the hallucinogens LSD and PCP; the stimulant khat; and diverted pharmaceuticals. Many ODDs are sold by middle-class, suburban teenagers at raves, nightclubs, and on college campuses.

drug rehab / drug addiction - ecstasy pillsClub Drugs:

MDMA is easily accessible, increasingly available, and associated with an increasing level of violent crime. Diversion of sedative hypnotics such as Xanax and Valium (both benzodiazepines); narcotics such as methadone, Dilaudid, Percocet, Percodan, and most recently OxyContin; and other prescription drugs is a developing threat. Law enforcement officials report that diversion of pharmaceuticals is a lucrative business. The District of Columbia (D.C.) is an ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse 68-square-mile federal district with over 572,000 residents, many of whom need good quality drug rehab resources. If D.C. were a state, it would rank fiftieth by population, ahead of only Wyoming. Washington, D.C.’s role as the nation’s capital and as a focal point for the world’s political, diplomatic, and financial activities enhances the District’s diversity. Attracting inhabitants from throughout the country and the world, D.C. provides an ideal setting for criminal groups to blend in easily.

The District has a large population of drug abusers and a high level of violence associated with the distribution of illegal drugs. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) National Drug Threat Survey 2001, the U.S. Park Police reported that 35 percent of its 1,583 D.C. investigations were drug-related. Many were for polydrug distribution and involved the use of firearms. The threat posed by drug distribution and abuse to the safety and security of District residents is illustrated by the District’s high homicide rate. Although the number of homicides in D.C. has decreased from an annual high of almost 500 a decade ago to 232 in 2000, shooting incidents remain frequent, and many District residents live in fear of becoming victims of random violence.

The District has a wide array of transportation options available for both licit and illicit activities, making D.C. an important node in the drug transportation network along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Transporters use an extensive highway system, three major airports near the District (Washington Dulles and Baltimore- Washington International Airports and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport), and the railroads to ensure that drugs transported to and from the area have an excellent chance of reaching their intended destination. Thousands of travelers from all over the world pass through the three airports daily. Arrest and seizure data indicate that the three airports are being used to smuggle drugs from source and transit countries to the District. District of Columbia drug rehab potential out of an overall Population (2000) of 572,000 U.S. population ranking 50th (Relative to states) Median household income (2000) $40,000 Unemployment rate (2001) 6.6% Land area 68 square miles Principal industries Government, service, tourism Interstates 295 and 395 provide direct access to I-495, which encircles the District, and to I-95, the major north-south route on the East Coast. U.S. Highways 1, 29, and 50 also provide access to I-495 and I-95. Drugs are frequently transported in private vehicles and, to a lesser extent, by rail and bus services to and from the District. Many transporters reportedly purchase false identification with which they register private vehicles used to transport drugs.

The percentage of drug-related federal sentences in D.C. in 1999 was slightly lower than the national average, as were the percentages by drug type—crack is the exception. Drug-related sentences represented over 33 percent of all federal sentences in the District in 1999, compared with the national average of 41 percent. Additionally, over 75 percent of all drug-related sentences were crack-related, much higher than the national average of 23 percent. According to an official from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 60,000 drug abusers—over 10 percent of the District’s population—reside in the District and need quality drug rehab centers and services. D.C. had more drug treatment admissions in 1999 than it did during any other year from 1994 through 1998. The number of annual drug admissions to publicly funded facilities in D.C. increased approximately 510 percent from 1996 through 1999, according to Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) data. The District had 979 admissions in 1996, 2,885 in 1997, 3,618 in 1998, and 6,005 in 1999.

Conversely, the number of drug-related deaths in the D.C. metropolitan area decreased from 281 episodes in 1998 to 239 in 1999 (15%), the second largest decrease among the 40 metropolitan areas reporting medical examiner (ME) data to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). Minneapolis had the largest decrease (17%). A significant percentage of the District’s budget is used for drug rehab programs. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported that D.C. spent $777 per person in 1998 on substance abuse-related services such as addiction treatment, more than any state in the nation. The District government spent approximately 15 percent of its 1998 budget on substance abuse-related programs that focused on justice, education, health, child/family assistance, mental health/developmental disabilities, employment, and public safety issues. D.C. was fifth in the nation in the percentage spent, following New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and California.

Although resources are expended in the state, the District of Columbia drug rehab efforts could be increased to meet the overwhelming demand for addiction treatment.

Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment Centers

Drug Situation:The nation’s capital long has been plagued by a variety of drug problems, most notably the violence associated with crack cocaine distribution. Street “crews” operating in open-air markets or on neighborhood corners continue to thrive in Washington, DC. The city’s large international population provides insulation for ethnic drug trafficking groups from almost every major supply country in the world, and the suburbs surrounding the city provide a steady supply of customers and a steady supply of addicts in need of effective drug addiction treatment.

drug rehab / drug addiction - Drug-Violation ArrestsDEA 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 has been one MET deployment in Washington, D.C. since the inception of the program, which resulted in 22 arrests and the seizure of $10,000 in crack cocaine and assets relating to the investigation.

Special Topics : The Washington/Baltimore HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) supports and assists in the funding of a multi-agency enforcement task force and an Intelligence group in Washington, DC. In addition, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department has its own Major Narcotics Branch, and other drug and violent crime-related enforcement operations in place.

More Addiction Treatment Centers Needed:

Drug addiction continues to plague our nation's capital. The need for more effective, quality drug rehab centers continues to grow and is relected throughout the country.

Information provided by DEA.gov


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