Enforcement Officers: 1,760
State Prison Population:
Probation Population: 5,906
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 22
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 0.6 kgs.
Heroin: 0 kgs.
Laboratories: 59 (DEA, state, and local)
Top 3 cities in MontanaGreat Falls
Drug Addiction and Drug Addiction
Drug Situation: Methamphetamine
production and use remains the primary drug issue faced by law enforcement and
the primary drug of choice among individuals entering addiction treatment
centers, though the emergence of club drugs (primarily Ecstasy) has escalated
in the larger communities. More traditional drugs, such as cocaine and
marijuana remain popular, as well as a variety of other illegal substances.
Marijuana continues to be the most abused illegal drug in the state. Heroin is
not a popular drug of choice in Montana although its abuse is reported by some
entering drug rehab centers. The total number of persons admitted for drug
addiction treatment in Montana for year 2001 was 4,485, representing a 1.2
percent increase from year 2000.
Cocaine: The 2001
Montana Youth Risk Survey results indicated that nine percent of high school
students had used cocaine at some point. Billings and Great Falls are the
primary cities with cocaine abuse, although cocaine and crack use is also
considered to be a very serious concern on Native American reservations as
well. The majority of cocaine comes from Mexican polydrug trafficking groups
with sources of supply located in the state of Washington and the southwest
border states. Crack cocaine is available in ounce quantities, though it is
confined primarily to larger cities.
Heroin:The DEA Billings RO reports that heroin abuse and
distribution is not a major law enforcement problem in the state. Heroin
availability is limited and the state of Montana reports that trafficking and
sales of heroin through FY-2000 (most recent information available) are
declining. Mexican groups transport available heroin to the state from Los
Angeles and Houston, usually trafficking in ounce and multi-ounce quantities.
Black tar heroin use appears to be on the increase in the western part of the
state, primarily in Missoula.
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is increasingly
available throughout Montana. Results from a survey conducted by the state of
Montana indicated that thirteen percent of high school students reported
methamphetamine abuse during 2001. Law enforcement officers across the state
identify methamphetamine as the most significant drug problem in their
jurisdictions. Methamphetamine cases represented 62.3 percent of all drug
violators appearing in Montana courts during 2001. The majority of
methamphetamine in the state is trafficked by Mexican national groups.
Additionally, numerous small-scale local laboratory operators, producing up to
ounce quantities of methamphetamine for personal use and/or local distribution,
are appearing with more frequency. Most of these laboratories are operated by
Caucasians. State and local authorities have assumed a greater seizure role in
Club Drugs: Ecstasy is becoming a
significant law enforcement problem in the larger cities of Billings and Great
Falls, and the college communities of Bozeman and Missoula. As raves become
more common in the Billings area, Ecstasy use will likely expand. Ecstasy is
typically purchased in tablet form. It is distributed by local independent
dealers who travel to Denver or other larger cities to procure small quantities
of one thousand or more tablets. Other Club drugs, such as GHB and Ketamine,
have not manifested themselves as a serious concern as yet. LSD use and
availability appear to be limited to the colleges communities of Bozeman and
Missoula. LSD is not widely available in other areas of the state.
Marijuana: Marijuana is readily available
throughout Montana. It is the most commonly abused drug in the state. A recent
survey conducted by the Montana State Addictive and Mental Disorders Division
indicated that 47 percent of all high school students had used marijuana in
their lifetime. The survey also found that 27 percent described themselves as
regular users. The majority of the marijuana consumed in Montana originates in
Mexico. Mexican polydrug organizations transport marijuana in vehicles from the
southwest border states to Montana. Locally produced marijuana is primarily
grown indoors, with grows generally consisting of less than 100 plants. Law
enforcement authorities did not seize or purchase sinsemilla during 2001 year.
Trafficking groups normally acquire supplies of marijuana from the southwest
border area and smuggle hundred-pound loads into Montana on a monthly or
bi-monthly basis. Potent B.C. Bud or Kind Bud from the Pacific Northwest and
Western Canada is increasing in popularity and availability. B.C. Bud is often
smuggled directly into Montana across the Canadian border. This marijuana would
then be transshipped to other areas of the United States.
Drugs:OxyContin has already
begun to demonstrate its abuse potential in Montana, being credited as the
primary drug of abuse among an increasing number of individuals seeking drug
addiction treatment. Quantities of OxyContin are being illegally distributed in
various areas in the state. Dilaudid and other opiate pain killers are also in
demand on the illicit market.
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.
Special Topics: HIDTA (High
Intensity Drugs Trafficking Area): The State of Montana now participates in the
Rocky Mountain HIDTA, which is based in Denver, Colorado. Montanas
involvement with HIDTA began in mid-2002. The financial support that HIDTA can
provide to drug investigations will be a distinct benefit to
Addiction Treatment Centers
centers providing effective drug addiction treatment are necessary in
combatting the problem of drug addiction. Those addicted to illegal drugs and
illegally obtained prescription drugs need drug rehab centers available to them
to help them address their addiction issues and regain their lives.