National Drug Intelligence Center
Figure 8. Federally recognized Native American reservations within the New England OCDETF Region.
Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs; U.S. Census Bureau.
|New England OCDETF Region Indian Country Fast Facts|
|States||Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont|
|Number of Reservations||10|
|Population on Reservations||2,514|
|Area (Square Miles)||330.58|
|Per Capita Income||$10,831-$27,261|
Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
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The abuse of diverted pharmaceuticals poses the greatest concern to officials on reservations in the region as a result of steadily increasing treatment admissions for pharmaceutical abuse among Native Americans in the area. Native American traffickers and independent dealers transport diverted pharmaceuticals, marijuana, and cocaine from nearby cities and Canada for distribution in the region's Native American communities. These traffickers typically transport multiple-tablet quantities of diverted pharmaceuticals, ounce quantities of marijuana, and gram quantities of cocaine to reservations in private vehicles.
Native American traffickers and independent dealers supply most illicit drugs available on reservations in the region. Most illicit drugs available on reservations in the region are transported and distributed by Native American traffickers and independent dealers, who obtain the drugs in cities near reservations. Many of these traffickers supply abusers on several reservations, transporting small quantities of diverted pharmaceuticals, multiounce quantities of commercial-grade marijuana, and gram quantities of cocaine to numerous Native American communities throughout the region. Additionally, some reservations in the region are experiencing a presence of local street gangs, such as Bloods, that are distributing illicit drugs at the retail level.
Some drug abusers engage in violent and property crime on reservations to support their drug habits. Law enforcement reporting indicates that drug abusers commit most routine criminal offenses on reservations in the New England Region. Abusers predominantly commit property crime, such as burglary and theft, to fund their addictions. However, abusers sometimes engage in violent crimes, primarily domestic assaults--the prevalence of violent crime (assaults, shootings, and homicides) on reservations in New England is low.
The limited number of correctional facilities in or near the region requires law enforcement to travel great distances to house offenders. A lack of correctional facilities to house offenders constrains law enforcement efforts on reservations throughout the region. Tribal officials report that they are generally required to transport offenders great distances for court appearances and housing, thereby leaving their areas unprotected for long periods of time.
Urban areas close to reservations serve as the primary source of illicit drugs available within Native American communities throughout the New England Region. Native American traffickers and independent dealers transport retail and some midlevel quantities of illicit drugs, primarily diverted pharmaceuticals, marijuana, and cocaine, to reservations from nearby cities. These traffickers commonly use private vehicles while transporting drugs to and between reservations.
Native American traffickers and independent dealers are the predominant illicit drug distributors on reservations throughout the region; they primarily distribute midlevel and retail-level quantities of diverted pharmaceuticals, marijuana, and cocaine. Native American traffickers and independent dealers commonly distribute diverted pharmaceuticals, commercial-grade marijuana, and cocaine on reservations throughout the region; they primarily distribute retail-level quantities of these drugs within Native American communities but occasionally distribute midlevel quantities to other traffickers. Native American traffickers typically use their residences as distribution sites, while independent dealers usually distribute illicit drugs from the homes of friends and acquaintances on reservations.
The abuse of diverted pharmaceuticals poses a significant threat to reservations in the region. OxyContin, Dilaudid, Percocet, and Vicodin are highly abused on Indian reservations. Most OxyContin pills seized on reservations are imprinted with the letters "CDN," indicating a Canada-based source. Independent drug dealers from Bangor, Calais, Houlton, and Portland (ME) generally smuggle diverted pharmaceuticals from Canada into the United States and distribute them to tribal members. Tribal members also obtain pharmaceuticals through doctor-shopping, fraudulent prescriptions, and theft.
The number of Native Americans reporting pharmaceutical drug abuse in the region is increasing at a faster rate than the number reporting abuse of any other illicit drug. TEDS data indicate that the percentage of American Indians reporting pharmaceutical drug abuse at the time of admission to publicly funded treatment facilities increased from 12.2 percent in 2002 to 29.4 percent in 2006, the latest year for which such data are available. Treatment admissions for marijuana, cocaine, and heroin have fluctuated over the past several years at relatively high levels. Methamphetamine-related treatment admissions are relatively low but have increased overall. (See Table 11.)
Table 11. Primary Illicit Drug Mentions by American Indians Seeking Treatment for Abuse in the New England Region, 2002-2006
Source: Treatment Episode Data Set 2006.
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