National Drug Intelligence Center
Cocaine is the primary illicit substance identified in treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the number of cocaine-related treatment admissions in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia in 2006 exceeded the number of treatment admissions for marijuana; the combined total of other opiates, tranquilizers, and sedatives; heroin; and amphetamines (including methamphetamine). (See Table A2 in Appendix A).20
CPDs are widely available and frequently abused throughout the Appalachia HIDTA region. The most commonly abused CPDs are methadone, OxyContin, Valium, Vicodin, and Xanax. Tennessee Department of Health officials report that a high incidence of users abusing prescription drugs, and prescription drugs in combination with illicit drugs, has contributed to an increasing number of drug-related deaths in the state.
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Drug traffickers in the Appalachia HIDTA region launder illicit drug proceeds through a variety of methods. The movement of these proceeds from wholesale and, occasionally, midlevel drug distribution in the region typically involves the transportation of bulk currency from the region to drug source areas such as Atlanta, Columbus, or Detroit. According to NDTS 2009 data, 36 of the 92 law enforcement agency respondents in the Appalachia HIDTA region report that wholesale traffickers use bulk cash smuggling to move illicit drug proceeds at moderate to high levels. In addition, 35 of the 92 respondents report that wholesale traffickers use cash-intensive front businesses to launder illicit drug proceeds at low to moderate levels. Traffickers also launder illicit drug proceeds through real estate investments and money services businesses and by purchasing luxury items; some exploit casinos in the region to launder illicit funds. Law enforcement officials report that some family-based criminal groups in the HIDTA region hide drug proceeds in bulk, spending the bulk cash to purchase items such as vehicles or jewelry rather than using banks or government institutions, which they generally distrust.
20. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) data are available only at the state level; thus, admission numbers are not limited to the Appalachia HIDTA region but reflect the entire states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. TEDS data for 2007 were not available for West Virginia as of February 20, 2009.
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