ARCHIVED Skip nagivation.To Contents     To Previous Page     To Next Page     To Publications Page     To Home Page
To Home Page. National Drug Intelligence Center
Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis
June 2007

Drug-Related Crimes

The distribution and abuse of illicit drugs, primarily crack cocaine and ice methamphetamine, in the HIDTA region are often associated with violent crimes and property crimes. Law enforcement officials frequently note that crack cocaine and ice methamphetamine distributors commonly commit violent crimes such as assaults, home invasions, and shootings to protect and expand their drug operations. Moreover, 17 of 28 law enforcement agencies in the Atlanta HIDTA region that responded to the NDIC National Drug Threat Survey (NDTS) 2006 report that crack cocaine is the drug that most contributes to violent crime in their jurisdictions, and 15 of the 28 report that methamphetamine is the drug that most contributes to property crime.

Law enforcement officials report that the current rate of violence among street-level crack cocaine distributors has surpassed 2006 levels, particularly in DeKalb County, largely as a result of disputes between Atlanta-based distributors and distributors from New Orleans, Louisiana, over drug territory. The violence began when crack distributors from New Orleans, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, relocated to Atlanta and began to compete with local Atlanta crack dealers for drug territory. Law enforcement officials expected this violence to decline as drug distributors from New Orleans returned home after hurricane recovery efforts. However, many former New Orleans-based traffickers have elected to stay and expand operations in the area; as such, not only has the violence between these distributors not subsided, it has increased.



Cocaine is the primary drug of abuse identified in drug treatment admissions in the Atlanta MSA, accounting for 34 percent of all admissions in state fiscal year (SFY) 2006 (3,047 of 8,966).5 The number of cocaine admissions has fluctuated since SFY2002, but has decreased overall. This decrease is quite likely a result of some stimulant abusers switching from cocaine to methamphetamine. Marijuana admissions accounted for the next highest number of treatment admissions; the number of admissions increased from 1,804 in SFY2002 to 2,388 in SFY2006. This increase was most likely the result of an increase in the availability of high-potency marijuana in the area. Methamphetamine-related treatment admissions rose overall from 384 in SFY2002 to 1,299 in SFY2006 but declined between SFY2005 and SFY2006. African Americans in Atlanta are most likely to abuse crack cocaine, and Caucasians are most likely to abuse methamphetamine; however, indicators suggest a growing level of methamphetamine abuse among African Americans. (See Table 6.)

Table 6. Number of Primary Drug Treatment Admissions in the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area, SFY2002-SFY2006a

Primary Drug at Admission SFY02 SFY03 SFY04 SFY05 SFY06
Cocaine (Powder and Crack) 3,326 2,867 2,942 2,888 3,047
Heroin/Morphine 461 388 421 350 330
Marijuana/Hashish 1,804 1,860 2,110 2,231 2,388
Methamphetamine/Speed 384 618 1,072 1,362 1,299
All Other Substances, Excluding Alcohol 2,533 1,879 1,690 1,909 1,902
Total Admissions 8,508 7,612 8,235 8,740 8,966

Source: Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases.b

a. Figures in this table represent the number of consumers who had at least one admission during the state fiscal year in which the primary “substance problem at admission” was the substance shown. A consumer is counted only once per fiscal year per primary substance problem regardless of the number of admissions for that problem. Note that a consumer may be counted in more than one category per state fiscal year because the consumer may have had separate admissions for different primary substances.

b. This table includes only admissions to services funded or operated by the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases and does not include admissions to services of any other providers, public or private.

End Note

5. The state fiscal year runs from July through June.

To Top      To Contents     To Previous Page     To Next Page

To Publications Page     To Home Page

End of page.