Enforcement Officers: 3,360
State Prison Population:
Probation Population: 5,994
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 30
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 8.2 kgs.
Heroin: 0.1 kgs.
Marijuana: 90.5 kgs.
Laboratories: 13 (DEA, state, and local)
Drugs and Addiction Treatment Centers
Drug Situation: Largely rural,
West Virginias most pronounced drug problems involve methamphetamine
abuse and the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine, marijuana consumption
and cultivation, and pharmaceutical drug abuse and diversion. Cocaine, crack,
and MDMA are available in most areas of the state. Drug distributors in West
Virginia are uniquely placed to take advantage of sources of supply from nearby
eastern cities like Baltimore, Pittsburgh or Washington, DC, as well as large
mid-western cities such as Columbus, Ohio, and Detroit. It is easily seen that
more addiction treatment centers are needed here.
Cocaine hydrochloride and
crack cocaine are widely available in most West Virginia cities. Crack abuse
generally remains confined to low and low-middle income individuals, but
crosses all ethnic lines. There is some violence associated with the crack
trade in the state. Cocaine availability is limited to large-retail or
small-wholesale quantities. Source areas for cocaine are more varied than for
other drugs consumed in the state and are largely based on the
traffickers location within West Virginia. Crack abuse is sited as the
reason many are seeking drug addiction treatment.
Heroin: Both the demand for and the availability of
heroin are very limited throughout West Virginia. Small enclaves of long-term
heroin addicts exist, who rely on one another to procure supplies of heroin
from secondary source cities such as Philadelphia and Baltimore. The heroin
sold in West Virginia typically retains the street/brand name and packaging of
the Philadelphia or Baltimore-area supplier.
Methamphetamine: Clandestine methamphetamine
laboratory activity in West Virginia has increased threefold in the past
several years. Previously, methamphetamine manufacture appeared to be centered
in the Panhandle region of the state, but has expanded to include other areas
of northern West Virginia as well as some clandestine laboratory sites in the
southeastern portion of the state bordering Kentucky and Virginia. In addition,
methamphetamine distributors in West Virginia often share Mexican sources of
supply with distributors in Virginias Shenandoah Valley region.
Methamphetamine abuse is reported among a high number upon entry to drug rehab
Drugs: There is increased demand for Ecstasy (MDMA) throughout West
Virginia, but abuse remains fairly concentrated near Morgantown, the location
of West Virginia University. Demand for MDMA in college towns is sufficient to
ensure that thousands of the pills reach West Virginia every month. Because of
West Virginias remote terrain, the area is purported to host numerous
private rave parties, but attendance at large-scale, publicized
raves has been disappointing to promoters.
Marijuana: Both imported and
locally-cultivated marijuana pose a serious drug threat in West Virginia.
Although the state ranks 37th in population in the United States, West Virginia
consistently ranks in the top ten states for marijuana eradication. West
Virginia commonly serves as a source area for domestic marijuana. The
Appalachia HIDTA was established initially to combat marijuana cultivation in
the tri-state area Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia although that
mission has expanded. Among individuals seeking addiction treatment centers,
marijuana is often named as the drug of choice or a drug used in conjunction
with other drugs of choice.
Other Drugs:OxyContin and Other
Prescription Drug Diversion: West Virginia abusers of the pharmaceutical
drug OxyContin garnered a great deal of media coverage in the past year or
more. West Virginia, along with neighboring and nearby states Virginia,
Kentucky, and Tennessee, were among the first areas in the United States to
experience widely publicized problems with OxyContin diversion and abuse.
Pharmaceutical drug abuse in general, however, has always been an enormous
concern in West Virginia, particularly in the southern region. The abuse of
pharmaceutical drugs increasingly accounts for rising numbers of individuals
seeking drug addiction treatment.
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 has been one
MET deployment in the State of West Virginia since the inception of the
program. The MET deployment to Charles Town, West Virginia resulted in 18
arrests and the seizure of 3.5 ounces of crack cocaine.
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.
Drug Rehab Centers Needed: The continued increase and abuse
of illegal drugs and diverted pharmaceutical drugs necessitates an increase in
the number of quality drug rehab centers available to addicted