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Connecticut Drug Threat Assessment
Publication Date: July 2002
Update: July 2003
Document ID: 2002-S0377CT-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 to Connecticut. 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 to Connecticut.
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Other Dangerous Drugs
List of Figures
Figure 1. Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Task Force districts.
List of Tables
Table 1. Treatment Admissions to Publicly Funded Facilities, Connecticut, 1994-1999
Table 2. Powdered Cocaine Prices and Purity, Selected Cities, Connecticut First Quarter FY2002
Table 3. Crack Cocaine Prices and Purity, Selected Cities, Connecticut First Quarter FY2002
Table 4. Heroin Prices and Purity, Selected Cities, Connecticut, First Quarter FY2002
Table 5. Cannabis Plots Seized and Plants Eradicated, Connecticut, 1994-1999
The distribution and abuse of illegal drugs and the diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals pose serious threats to Connecticut. In 1999 Connecticut ranked second in the nation for the number of substance abuse-related treatment admissions per 100,000 population and eleventh in the nation for the total number of substance abuse-related treatment admissions. Cocaine is the primary drug threat.
Powdered cocaine and crack cocaine pose the greatest drug threat to Connecticut. Cocaine is readily available in Connecticut, and its distribution and abuse are associated with more violent crime than any other drug. Connecticut-based African American, Dominican, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and other Hispanic criminal groups primarily use rental and private vehicles on Interstate 95 to transport most of the cocaine available in Connecticut from New York City. They also transport cocaine on commuter trains and buses from New York City and on commercial airline flights from other areas. These criminal groups are the dominant wholesale and midlevel cocaine distributors in Connecticut. Street gangs, local crews, and local independent dealers, particularly African American, Jamaican, and Puerto Rican, are the dominant retail distributors of powdered and crack cocaine in Connecticut. Many criminal groups that distribute cocaine in the state also distribute other drugs such as heroin and marijuana.
Heroin is the second most significant drug threat to Connecticut. Heroin, particularly South American, is frequently abused in the state; in 1999 Connecticut ranked first in the nation for the rate of heroin-related treatment admissions per 100,000 population. Heroin's increasing popularity, particularly among teenagers and young adults, is due primarily to the increased availability of low cost, high purity heroin that can effectively be snorted or smoked rather than injected. Connecticut-based African American, Dominican, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and other Hispanic criminal groups are the dominant transporters and wholesale and midlevel distributors of heroin in the state. They usually travel in private vehicles on interstate highways, particularly I-95, to purchase wholesale quantities of heroin from New York City-based Colombian and Dominican criminal groups. These wholesale and midlevel distributors typically sell heroin to retail distributors, primarily Connecticut-based street gangs, crews, and other African American, Dominican, Jamaican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and other Hispanic criminal groups.
Marijuana is the most widely available and commonly abused drug in Connecticut. However, the drug poses a lower threat than cocaine or heroin because marijuana abusers and distributors usually do not commit violent crimes and because the drug's effects are generally less debilitating than those associated with other illicit drugs. Connecticut has had fewer treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities for marijuana abuse than for heroin or cocaine abuse; however, the number of treatment admissions is increasing. Most of the marijuana available in Connecticut is Mexico-produced or produced by Mexican criminal groups in Arizona, southern California, and Texas. Cannabis also is cultivated indoors and outdoors in Connecticut. Caucasian, Colombian, Dominican, Jamaican, Mexican, and other Hispanic criminal groups and members of Italian Organized Crime are the dominant transporters of marijuana into Connecticut. They usually transport marijuana into Connecticut in tractor-trailers. Caucasian, Jamaican, and Mexican criminal groups and Connecticut-based local independent dealers are the dominant wholesale distributors of marijuana. African American, Caucasian, Dominican, and other Hispanic criminal groups, street gangs, crews, and local independent dealers are the dominant retail distributors.
Other dangerous drugs, including the stimulant MDMA, the depressants GHB and ketamine, the hallucinogens LSD and PCP, and the diverted pharmaceuticals alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), fentanyl (Duragesic), hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), and methylphenidate (Ritalin), are an increasing threat to Connecticut. Many of these dangerous drugs are distributed and abused by teenagers and young adults, sometimes in combination with cocaine and heroin, on college campuses and at raves. The threat posed by these drugs is increasing; however, they pose a lower threat than heroin, cocaine, and marijuana due to their low association with violent crime. These drugs are usually transported into the state via package delivery services, couriers on commercial airline flights, or private vehicles.
Methamphetamine is rarely distributed or abused in Connecticut. The number of methamphetamine-related treatment admissions, seizures, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigations, and federal sentences in the state is insignificant. Only one methamphetamine production laboratory has been seized since 1993, and there have been no reports of methamphetamine-related violence. Caucasian independent dealers distribute the limited quantity of methamphetamine available in the state.
National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901
Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840
Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807
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