Enforcement Officers: 14,767
Probation Population: 81,286
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 4
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 388.3 kgs.
Heroin: 17.8 kgs.
Marijuana: 118.0 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 1 (DEA, state, and
Top 5 cities in MarylandBowie
Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug Situation:Maryland is
situated on the north end of the mid-Atlantic region and bisected by
Interstate-95. Drugs, weapons, and illicit proceeds destined for points south
of New York City routinely transit the state through Baltimore. Marylands
drug situation is complicated by the presence of two major metropolitan areas
in the state: Baltimore and its surrounding counties in the northern part of
the state, and the suburban counties of Washington, DC, in southern Maryland.
In addition, Marylands major seaport in Baltimore contributes to a
substantial amount of international drug traffic coming into the state.
Baltimore is deeply affected by the heroin trade, having carried the dubious
distinction as one of the most heroin-plagued cities in the nation for over a
Cocaine and crack abuse and distribution pose a significant threat throughout
the state of Maryland, particularly in cities situated near Washington, DC. Law
enforcement sources in cities and towns located along the Eastern Shore and in
western Maryland also cite crack cocaine as the primary drug threat in their
areas and the primary drug of choice among those entering drug rehab centers.
Violence continues to accompany the cocaine trade in the state. Wholesale
levels of cocaine are readily available via suppliers in New York City and the
Heroin: Heroin is commonly abused throughout
Maryland but is most problematic in and around the city of Baltimore. Baltimore
boasts higher numbers of heroin addicts and heroin-related crime than almost
any other city in the nation, and those problems tend to spill over into
adjoining counties where many heroin distributors maintain residences. The
enormous demand for heroin in the Baltimore metropolitan area led to an
increase in heroin abuse among teens and young adults, who routinely drive into
the city to obtain heroin for themselves and other heroin abusers. It has also
led to an increase in the number of individuals seeking drug addiction
treatment. In the Baltimore metropolitan area, heroin is sold almost
exclusively by street name and packaged in gelatin capsules. Highly pure heroin
raw marketed toward suburban users is sometimes
packaged in vials (much like crack cocaine).
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is not in high
demand nor is it widely available in Maryland. Although clandestine meth
laboratories have been seized in the state in the past few years one of
which was large enough to receive classification by EPIC as a
super-lab the problem overall is minimal. Drug abusers in
western Maryland, near West Virginia, and young adults involved in the
cities rave scenes are the primary audiences for methamphetamine. Some
addicted individuals entering addiction treatment centers do report
methamphetamine as their drug of choice.
Drugs: Baltimore maintains a thriving rave and nightclub
scene in which club drug abuse, usually Ecstasy (MDMA), is readily evident.
Club drugs such as Ketamine, GHB and others do not carry the same demand nor
availability as MDMA. Notable, however, are recent statements by law
enforcement sources that MDMA has become a drug of choice among young,
inner-city drug dealers in Baltimore and among young, primarily blue-collar
individuals in the western part of the state.
Marijuana: The most widely-abused drug in
Maryland, marijuana remains easily available in every part of the state. Low
levels of marijuana cultivation occur in the state, primarily in western
Maryland and along the Eastern Shore, where private farmland and public
parkland are conducive to growers concerns for anonymity.
Other Drugs: OxyContin and Other
Prescription Drug Diversion: Until recently, Maryland experienced high
levels of pharmaceutical diversion primarily in association with
Baltimores open-air drug markets. OxyContin, however, has become the drug
of choice among pharmaceutical drug abusers. Maryland particularly the
city of Baltimore is becoming a source area for OxyContin abusers in
Virginia and West Virginia, likely due to the enormous scrutiny the drug is
under in those two states.
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 359 deployments completed resulting in over 14,456 arrests of violent drug
criminals as of April 1, 2002. There have been three MET deployments in the
state of Maryland since the inception of the program: Baltimore, Annapolis, and
Hagerstown. These deployments resulted in 133 arrests and the seizure of 5.6
pounds of cocaine, 9 pounds of crack cocaine, 0.4 pounds of heroin, and 3.1
pounds of marijuana. Also seized were 23 weapons, 6 vehicles, and over $358,000
in U.S. currency and property.
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 Drug Rehab Centers are Needed:Maryland's geographic position
make it vulnerable to drug traffickers which, in turn, increases the
abuse/addiction problem in the state. More drug addiction treatment must be
made available to those wishing to free themselves from their