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National Drug Intelligence Center.

 

Title:

Ohio Drug Threat Assessment

Ohio Drug Threat Assessment.Publication Date: April 2001
Update: July 2002

Document ID: 2001-S0382OH-001

Archived on:  January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.

This report is a strategic assessment that addresses the status and outlook of the drug threat in Ohio. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data, particularly demand-related data sets. NDIC anticipates that this drug threat assessment will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels because it draws upon a broad range of information sources to describe and analyze the drug threat in Ohio.

Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time. Addresses are provided at the end of the page.
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Contents  

Executive Summary

Overview 
 
Fast Facts

Cocaine 
 
Abuse 
  Availability 
  Violence 
  Production 
  Transportation 
  Distribution 

Heroin 
 
Abuse 
  Availability 
  Violence 
  Production 
  Transportation 
  Distribution 

Methamphetamine 
  Abuse 
  Availability 
  Violence 
  Production 
  Transportation 
  Distribution

Marijuana 
  Abuse 
  Availability 
  Violence 
  Production 
  Transportation 
  Distribution 

Other Dangerous Drugs 
  Abuse 
  Availability 
  Production 
  Transportation 
  Distribution 

Outlook 

Sources


List of Figures 

Chart 1. Ohio Drug Abuse Admissions
Chart 2. Federal Drug Sentences FY1999
Chart 3. Cleveland Arrestees for Violent Offenses Testing Positive for Marijuana and Cocaine, 1999


Executive Summary

The production, distribution, and abuse of illegal drugs continue to pose a serious threat to the safety and security of the citizens of Ohio. Most of the violent crime committed in the state is attributed to the distribution and abuse of powdered cocaine and crack, which constitutes the state's primary drug threat. The rising availability of higher purity, lower cost heroin is leading to an expanding user population and greater risks to users, who are younger than ever before. In-state methamphetamine production has become a significant issue for law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio and is not limited to rural areas of the state. Marijuana remains the most abused drug in the state, and abuse among residents under 18 years old ranks highest among all age groups. Club drugs such as MDMA and GHB are growing in popularity in most urban areas of the state where raves are also increasing. The perception of club drugs as harmless has led to increased abuse and in some cases, death. Pharmaceutical diversion is now recognized as a significant problem in Ohio. OxyContin, a commonly prescribed pain reliever, is particularly popular in southern Ohio, where authorities believe it has been responsible for at least 15 deaths since 1999.

Powdered cocaine and crack combined constitute the greatest drug threat in Ohio. Many of the violent crimes in Ohio--such as assaults, drive-by shootings, and domestic violence--are directly associated with the distribution and abuse of powdered cocaine and crack. In urban areas such as Cleveland, cocaine has been the most prevalent drug of abuse among male and female arrestees since 1990.

The distribution and abuse of heroin in Ohio are increasing. An upsurge in the availability of higher purity, less expensive heroin has led to a new user population, consisting primarily of young adults. Since high purity heroin can be smoked or snorted effectively, users' perceptions of the risks of heroin use, particularly by injection, are reduced. Criminal groups are supplementing cocaine shipments with heroin in an attempt to further increase the availability of heroin in Ohio.

Methamphetamine distribution and abuse are increasing threats in Ohio, but have not yet reached the levels of other states in the Midwest and West. An increase in methamphetamine laboratories in Ohio and surrounding states has led to greater methamphetamine availability throughout the state, and law enforcement agencies at all levels are now confronted with the expensive cleanup costs of these sites. The use of methamphetamine by older teens and those in their early twenties is increasing. These new, younger users generally are from middle- to upper-class neighborhoods and do not view methamphetamine as dangerous or addictive.

Marijuana remains the most prevalent drug of abuse in Ohio and marijuana treatment records indicate that abuse is increasing. Law enforcement personnel report that it is encountered during most drug arrests and raids. Ohio's rural locations provide opportunities to grow cannabis outdoors; however, sophisticated indoor grow operations are producing high quality marijuana, and their number has increased.

The distribution and abuse of other dangerous drugs, particularly club drugs like MDMA, known on the street as "ecstasy," and GHB continue to increase in Ohio. Club drugs have become popular with teenagers and young adults who frequent nightclubs and raves. Law enforcement reports an increase in club drug availability, primarily in urban areas where rave activity is increasing. Often, drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine are also available at rave parties and may be taken in combination with club drugs. Reports from the medical community indicate that club drugs, believed by many users to be harmless, can actually cause serious health conditions including dehydration, epileptic-like seizures, problematic breathing, and, in some cases, death.

Pharmaceutical diversion is a continuing problem throughout Ohio, although it may not receive as much attention as other illicit drug problems. Prescription drugs are readily obtained illegally in most areas of Ohio. Law enforcement reports confirm that the distribution of prescription drugs is a lucrative business. Some of the most commonly diverted prescription drugs are Dilaudid, OxyContin, Percocet, Tylenol with Codeine No. 3, Valium, and Vicodin.


 

Addresses

National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901

Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
E-mail
NDIC.Contacts@usdoj.gov

National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840

Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807

 

Web Addresses

ADNET:  http://ndicosa 
      DOJ:  http://www.usdoj.gov/archive/ndic/
      LEO:  home.leo.gov/lesig/archive/ndic/ 

  


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