Alabama Drug Abuse
Alabama swells with pride over its phenomenal college and professional football teams, its densely populated city of Birmingham and the fact that it is the Heart of Dixie. This remarkable state has rich culture, decadent food and some of the best musicians in the world. It may appear that life is rosy on the surface, but many Alabamians have serious drug addiction issues. If you desire to overcome your chemical dependency, Palm Partners is here to help. Our professional programs provide you with guidance, care and attention. Call us now to create a sweet, drug-free home Alabama.
You don’t need to share another day with your addiction. Palm Partners Detox and Rehab is your therapeutic solution. Call today 205-378-7526.
What you should know
Use of cocaine, meth and marijuana from out of state is widespread in Alabama. So, too, is use of locally grown marijuana and locally manufactured meth and designer drugs. In fact, the number of clandestine meth labs is increasing.
Drugs come into the state via Colombian, Mexican and Caribbean drug trafficking groups as well as through regional and local criminal organizations. Operating exclusive distribution networks within Alabama are the Mexican, Caribbean and regional criminal organizations. Casual or one-time traffickers also bring drugs into the area. Supplying meth on a limited basis are outlaw motorcycle gangs using their own distribution network.
Compared to other states
- Illicit drugs overall – moderately low for those 18 and older
- Pharmaceuticals – moderately high for those 18-25, average for those 26 and older
- Cocaine – moderately low for those 26 and older, low for those 18-25
- Marijuana – low for those 18 and older
- Alcohol – low for those 18 and older
Source: SAMHSA’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, based on 2008-2009 annual averages. SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A closer look
Becoming the biggest drug threat, surpassing cocaine statewide. The labs are generally in isolated rural communities. But for bulk meth distribution, the dominant groups are those with supply sources in Mexico. These Mexican drug trafficking organizations use long-haul trucks, rented cars, private vehicles, airlines and shipping via the post office and other interstate commercial carriers.
Street sales and use of meth are divided between the Hispanic and Caucasian communities. Because of meth’s increasing popularity in small towns, theft and violence also have increased.
Most abused drug, accounting for the most arrests. In the past few years, the amount of street dealing and the size of loads seized have dramatically increased. While production of marijuana inside Alabama is declining, trafficking into the state is increasing. The drug comes mostly from Mexico via the interstate and from South America through port cities in Florida and up through the port of Mobile.
Criminal groups transport large shipments from the Southwest Border region. Typically, marijuana is hidden in commercial and private vehicles or sent through the mail or package delivery services. The interstate also is a known route, and smuggling through various state airports is very probable.
A major threat to the state. Transported in powder form, the majority of cocaine is converted locally into crack. Most of Alabama’s cocaine is supplied through Mexican sources in California, Arizona and Texas. But proximity to the major trafficking hubs of Atlanta, the airline industry’s transportation center, and Miami, with its ties to South American and Caribbean groups, also is a significant factor.
The violence associated with cocaine trafficking and street sales is a threat to many of Alabama’s lower income neighborhoods.
Increasing dramatically, particularly among young people. That’s according to arrests, overdoses, emergency room visits and law enforcement seizures. Ecstasy, LSD and GHB are more readily available throughout the state. In fact, they are commonly found in college towns on campus and at venues that students frequent. Although users are young and white from all economic levels, most are university students and ravers.
The number one club drug is Ecstasy, and its use is increasing. It usually comes from Atlanta, but other sources are Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Germany. Also rising is use of GHB and its variants with overdoses regularly reported. However, use of LSD does not seem to be increasing.
Highest abuse – hydrocodone drugs such as Vicodin. But methadone, oxycodone variants such as OxyContin, benzodiazepines such as Xanax, and phentermine are also commonly abused.
The drugs mostly come from three sources: direct illegal distribution and sale of prescription drugs by healthcare professionals and workers, “doctor shopping” (going to different doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions) and fraudulent Internet purchase.
Rising in abuse with an alarming trend. Heroin purity is increasing while the street price is dropping. The drug comes mostly from Jamaica and more recently from New York.
Not a significant threat.
Percentage of Alabama population using/abusing drugs
|Past Month Illicit Drug Use2||6.78|
|Past Year Marijuana Use||7.61|
|Past Month Marijuana Use||4.42|
|Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana2||3.72|
|Past Year Cocaine Use||2.09|
|Past Year Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use||5.63|
|Perception of Great Risk of Smoking Marijuana Once a Month3||49.59|
|Past Month Alcohol Use||42.65|
|Past Month Binge Alcohol Use4||19.92|
|Perception of Great Risk of Drinking Five or More Drinks Once or Twice a Week3||45.35|
|PAST YEAR DEPENDENCE, ABUSE AND TREATMENT5|
|Illicit Drug Dependence2||1.90|
|Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2||2.89|
|Alcohol Dependence or Abuse||6.47|
|Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2||7.80|
|Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use2,6||2.31|
|Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use6||6.12|
|Serious psychological distress||11.49|
|Having at least one major depressive episode7||6.89|
- Age group is based on a respondent’s age at the time of the interview, not his or her age at first use.
- Illicit Drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.
- When the Perception of Great Risk in using marijuana or alcohol is low, use of marijuana or alcohol is high.
- Binge Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.
- Dependence or abuse is based on definitions found in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
- Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to respondents needing treatment for illicit drugs or alcohol, but not receiving treatment at a specialty facility.
- Major Depressive Episode is a period of at least 2 weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had a majority of the symptoms for depression as described in the DSM-IV.
Source: Condensed version of the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2007, from SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies