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Title:

Utah Drug Threat Assessment

Utah Drug Threat Assessment.Publication Date: March 2003

Document ID: 2003-S0389UT-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 Utah. 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 Utah.

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

Methamphetamine
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Heroin
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Cocaine
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

 

Marijuana
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Other Dangerous Drugs
  MDMA
  LSD
  GHB and Analogs
  Diverted Pharmaceuticals

Outlook

Sources


List of Tables 

Table 1. Percentage of Drug-Related Federal Sentences and Percentage by Drug Type Utah and United States, FY2001
Table 2. Substance Abuse-Related Treatment Admissions, Utah, FY1997-FY2001
Table 3. Drug-Related Deaths, Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area, 1996-2000
Table 4. Federal Drug Seizures in Kilograms, Utah, 1998-2001


Executive Summary

The production, distribution, and abuse of illicit drugs and the diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals pose a serious threat to Utah. Methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine are the most significant drug threats to the state--they are responsible for most drug treatment admissions, federal sentences, and drug-related violence. Drugs are commonly transported through Utah en route to other states due to its location between drug sources and destinations. Illicit drugs destined for northwestern states from Mexico, southwestern states, and California as well as those destined for the East Coast from California often are transported through Utah. Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of most illicit drugs throughout Utah. Street gangs distribute most illicit drugs at the retail level. Caucasian criminal groups, local independent dealers, and outlaw motorcycle gangs also are involved in transporting and distributing illicit drugs in the state.

The production, distribution, and abuse of methamphetamine pose a serious threat to residents of Utah. Abuse of the drug is increasing in the state, a trend that is fueled by the drug's ready availability. Violence associated with methamphetamine production, distribution, and abuse is a particular concern in the state. Methamphetamine produced in Mexico, Arizona, California and, to a lesser extent, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington is available throughout the state. Locally produced methamphetamine also is widely available throughout Utah. Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of methamphetamine produced outside the state. Caucasian independent dealers, many of whom have joined to form criminal groups, also are involved in the production, transportation, and wholesale distribution of the drug in Utah. At the retail level Mexican and Caucasian local independent dealers, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and street gangs distribute methamphetamine.

Heroin poses a threat to Utah. Mexican black tar heroin and brown powdered heroin are the predominant types available in the state; Southeast Asian heroin is available in very limited quantities. Mexican criminal groups, the primary transporters and wholesale distributors of heroin in Utah, transport the drug from transshipment points in California and Arizona and directly from Mexico. These groups typically transport the drug using private and rental vehicles and commercial trucks. In rural areas of the state, Mexican criminal groups distribute heroin at the retail level, and in metropolitan areas street gangs are the primary retail distributors.

Cocaine poses a threat to Utah, particularly because of the violence associated with the distribution and abuse of the drug. Powdered cocaine is distributed in both wholesale and retail quantities and is available throughout the state. Crack cocaine is available only in retail quantities and only in metropolitan areas. Mexican criminal groups transport powdered cocaine into the state and serve as wholesale, midlevel, and retail distributors. At the retail level street gangs and Caucasian and Mexican local independent dealers distribute powdered cocaine. Some street gangs also convert powdered cocaine into crack and distribute the drug at the wholesale and retail levels.

Marijuana is the most widely available illicit drug in Utah, and there is evidence to suggest that abuse of the drug is increasing. Marijuana produced by Mexican criminal groups in Mexico and California is the most common type available in the state. However, marijuana produced in Utah also is available and typically commands a higher price because its potency exceeds that of Mexico- or California-produced marijuana. Caucasian criminal groups produce high potency marijuana in the state; they distribute the drug directly as well as supply local independent dealers. Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale and midlevel distribution of marijuana produced in Mexico or California. At the retail level street gangs, Mexican and Caucasian criminal groups, and local independent dealers distribute marijuana.

The category of other dangerous drugs includes the stimulant MDMA, the hallucinogen LSD, the depressant GHB and its analogs, and diverted pharmaceuticals such as benzodiazepines, hydrocodones, oxycodones, and Ritalin. MDMA poses the most significant threat in this category because it is increasingly available and abused in the state, particularly in the metropolitan areas of Ogden, Provo, and Salt Lake City. The diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals represent a significant threat to Utah, and individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status abuse these drugs. 


Addresses

National Drug Intelligence Center
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Johnstown, PA 15901

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

National Drug Intelligence Center
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Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807

 

Web Addresses

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