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This is an NDIC product.

 

National Drug Intelligence Center.

     

Title:

Louisiana Drug Threat Assessment

Louisiana Drug Threat Assessment.Publication Date:  May 2001

Document ID: 2001-S0380LA-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 Louisiana. 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 Louisiana.

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
 
MDMA
  GHB
  Rohypnol
  Ketamine
  LSD
  Prescription Drugs

Outlook

Sources


List of Tables 

Table 1. Estimated Mileage Between Major Louisiana Cities and Selected Drug Distribution Cities
Table 2. Emergency Department and Medical Examiner Drug Mentions in New Orleans, 1995-1999
Table 3. Cocaine/Crack Treatment Admissions in Louisiana, 1988, 1998, and Peak Year
Table 4. Emergency Department Heroin/Morphine Mentions in New Orleans, 1993-1999
Table 5. Percentage of Arrestees Testing Positive for Opiates in New Orleans, 1996-1999
Table 6. Marijuana Treatment Admissions in Louisiana, 1988, 1998, and Peak Year

List of Charts 

Chart 1. Drug Crimes and Violent Crimes in Louisiana, 1995-1999  
Chart 2. Cocaine Arrests in Louisiana, 1995-1999
Chart 3. Marijuana Arrests in Louisiana, 1995-1999

 

 List of Figures

Figure 1. New Orleans Police Districts


Executive Summary

Louisiana's geographical location makes it an important transshipment point for illegal drugs destined for the southeast, northeast, and to a lesser extent, the midwest. Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking organizations use Louisiana's extensive coastline, seaports, interstate highways and remote airstrips to transport drugs into Louisiana and the United States. Louisiana's increasing prison population and high rates of violent crime both have roots in drug distribution and abuse.

Wholesale and retail distributors take advantage of the proximity of Houston, a major drug distribution center, to make frequent trips to purchase cocaine and marijuana. Highly organized criminal groups, normally African American, Asian, and Caucasian, are involved in the wholesale distribution of cocaine and marijuana. They use close ties to Mexican criminal groups in South Texas to facilitate their operations. Street gangs dominate retail distribution of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in larger cities and towns, and are increasingly moving into Louisiana's rural communities where local, independent dealers traditionally serviced drug markets. Most major cities in Louisiana are experiencing an increase in street gang activity.

The distribution and abuse of crack cocaine and the widespread availability of powdered cocaine are the primary illegal drug threats in Louisiana. The harmful effects of cocaine trafficking and abuse are seen in a growing number of treatment program admissions, increasing prison populations, and high rates of violent crime. Louisiana's highways are a key transshipment route for cocaine as it is transported from the Southwest Border area to lucrative markets in the southeast and northeast United States. Many local distributors, including street gangs, send couriers directly to Houston, a major cocaine distribution center. While most powdered cocaine is converted into crack in Louisiana, law enforcement authorities point to an increase in the amount of crack cocaine transported into Louisiana from south Texas.

The heroin threat in Louisiana, while confined primarily to the New Orleans metropolitan area, has reached high levels of abuse. Two distinct groups have emerged as primary heroin users: inner-city drug abusers who use heroin to soften the depressive effects of crack and individuals in their late teens to midtwenties from predominantly upper middle class suburban areas. Dominican trafficking organizations using New York City as a distribution center for high purity South American heroin are the primary wholesale suppliers in New Orleans, although Mexican black tar and, to a lesser extent, Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin are also available. Street gangs operating out of inner-city housing projects located primarily in the southwestern portion of New Orleans dominate retail distribution. Law enforcement officials indicate that heroin distributors struggling to define territories are in large part responsible for a sudden increase in violent crime.

Methamphetamine production and abuse have risen in northern and central Louisiana, an increase partially influenced by neighboring Arkansas, where methamphetamine production and abuse have reached epidemic levels. Methamphetamine is growing in popularity because of its lower cost and longer euphoric effect than crack cocaine. Anhydrous ammonia, a necessary chemical used in the production of methamphetamine, is widely available in Louisiana. While local independent producers dominate methamphetamine production and distribution, Mexican criminal groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs such as the Bandidos also are involved.

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the state. Most marijuana distributed in the state is transported from Houston and Dallas after being smuggled across the Southwest Border. Cannabis is also grown using conventional as well as sophisticated hydroponic methods.

The abuse of other dangerous drugs such as MDMA, GHB, LSD, and ketamine has increased in Louisiana. Powerful painkillers such as OxyContin, Dilaudid, and Vicodin are the most commonly diverted prescription pharmaceuticals. Law enforcement in some parishes including St. Bernard reports the abuse of OxyContin has reached alarming levels, resulting in a number of overdose deaths.


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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