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District of Columbia Drug Threat Assessment Update
May 2003


Methamphetamine distribution and abuse pose a lower threat to D.C. than the threats posed by other illicit drugs. According to TEDS data, the number of amphetamine-related admissions to publicly funded treatment facilities increased from 14 in 2000 to 33 in 2001. (Methamphetamine-related admissions constitute approximately 95 percent of amphetamine-related admissions reported to TEDS nationwide.) DAWN data indicate that there were 62 methamphetamine ED mentions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in 2000 and 24 in 2001. Preliminary estimates indicate that there were 15 methamphetamine ED mentions from January through June 2002. In 2001 the rate of methamphetamine ED mentions per 100,000 population in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area (1) was lower than the rate nationwide (6). (See Table 1 in Cocaine section.) According to DAWN mortality data, there was one methamphetamine-related death in D.C. in 2000 and none in 2001.

Only limited amounts of methamphetamine are available in D.C.; however, the drug is becoming increasingly available. According to FDSS data, federal law enforcement officials seized no methamphetamine in 2002; however, the Metropolitan Police Department reported seizing 5 kilograms of methamphetamine in November 2002. In D.C. methamphetamine sold for $11,000 to $19,000 per pound, $1,100 to $2,000 per ounce, and $100 per gram in the fourth quarter of FY2002, according to the DEA Washington Division. According to USSC data, there were no methamphetamine-related federal sentences in D.C. in FY2001. (See Table 2 in Cocaine section.)

According to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, methamphetamine production rarely occurs in D.C.--there have been no methamphetamine laboratory seizures in D.C. since 1997.

Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of methamphetamine into D.C.; they also serve as the principal wholesale- and retail-level distributors. Methamphetamine is transported into D.C. from southwestern and southeastern states, typically via package delivery services, couriers aboard commercial aircraft, and private vehicles. Outlaw motorcycle gangs such as Pagan's and Warlocks also transport methamphetamine into the city, but to a much lesser extent.


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