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Indiana Drug Threat Assessment
Other Dangerous Drugs
Other dangerous drugs, such as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), ketamine, and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among young people in urban areas and in college towns such as Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Muncie, South Bend, and Terre Haute. The DEA reports that Lake and Porter County in Northwest Indiana have experienced an explosion in MDMA availability.
"Club drugs" and "designer drugs" are general terms for synthetic drugs that have become popular with teenagers and young adults who frequent nightclubs and raves. These drugs include MDMA, ketamine, Rohypnol, GHB, GBL (gamma-butyrolactone), and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide). The popularity of these drugs has increased in large part because users believe they are not harmful. Many users are experimenting with an extremely dangerous combination of designer drugs, other drugs, and alcohol. National statistics document a sharp increase in the use of MDMA and other club drugs, and Indiana authorities are just beginning to see an increase in club drug use in their state. Designer drug use is increasing in the Southern District of Indiana, and several county sheriff's departments report that MDMA, GHB, and LSD sales, usually conducted by college students, are increasing. A Muncie Police Department detective reports an increase in MDMA and GHB abuse, primarily on a local university campus. The detective also reports that college campus "fads" usually spread to the local high schools and that he expects an increase in designer drug abuse among high school students. The Lake County HIDTA reports that MDMA abuse, as well as GHB abuse in nightclubs, is on the rise.
A South Central Narcotics Task Force prosecutor reports an increase in MDMA abuse, primarily among high school students, as well as an increase in GHB-related incidents. A Vigo Country Drug Task Force detective reports that MDMA, GHB, and LSD abuse is increasing, primarily among college students but also among high school students. The detective reports that younger Caucasian yuppies and Satan worshippers are the primary LSD users in the area. The Delaware County Sheriff's Department reports that college students are the main GHB, MDMA, and LSD users in its jurisdiction, and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department reports GHB use by local college students who also use gel tab LSD.
Emergency Room Mentions for Selected Club Drugs in the United States,
Following are short descriptions of dangerous synthetic drugs that have emerged as problems in Indiana.
Prescription drug abuse is also on the rise in Indiana. Officials indicate Ritalin abuse is increasing, especially among high school students. According to the DEA, Ritalin is prescribed four to five times more often in Indiana than it is nationally. In a 1998 Indiana youth survey, 7 percent of Indiana high school students abused Ritalin at least once and 2.5 percent abused it monthly or more frequently.
The Indiana State Police report that OxyContin abuse is increasing, particularly in southeastern Indiana. The State Police believe that OxyContin will become at least as big a problem as methamphetamine, adding that a pharmacy in Jackson County is the third largest distributor of oxycodone in the United States. Abuse of hydrocodone and hydromorphone (the prescription drugs most often sold illegally throughout Indiana) is increasing throughout the state.
MDMA, GHB, and LSD are available throughout the state and supply is increasing. All law enforcement officials responding to the 2000 National Drug Threat Survey as well as others interviewed report that the availability of MDMA and LSD is increasing. A South Central Narcotics Task Force prosecutor and an Indianapolis police detective report an increase in MDMA and GHB availability. The Muncie Police Department reports that MDMA and GHB are readily available on a local university campus. A Vigo County Drug Task Force detective reports that MDMA is readily available on a university campus as well as in local high schools and that LSD availability is increasing. The Evansville Police Department reports that LSD, GHB, and Rohypnol are available in the area and that there is an increase in the availability of LSD gel tabs and cubes.
Investigators report that MDMA-related investigations, arrests, and seizures have increased. The Hamilton County Drug Task Force seized 1,465 dosage units of MDMA in 1999, an increase for the second straight year. MDMA laboratory cases examined by the Indiana State Crime Laboratory increased 340 percent, from 9 in 1998 to 40 in 1999.
There is usually little violence associated with the use of other dangerous drugs, with the exception of GHB. MDMA is called the "hug drug," because it produces feelings of friendship and compassion rather than violence. LSD can cause violent "trips," but it is not known to cause violence among users. LSD trips can include violent and/or bizarre hallucinations, but the effects usually do not extend beyond the user. Psilocybin mushrooms also are hallucinogens and are not known to induce violent behavior. GHB and Rohypnol use, however, often results in violence, specifically rape. These drugs are used to render victims unconscious; victims usually have no recollection of activity during the unconscious state. The Muncie Police Department reports that in 2000, a local university student ingested GHB, lost consciousness, and was raped. A Vigo County Drug Task Force detective and a Monroe County prosecutor report that there were several GHB-related rapes in 2000, and a South Central Narcotics Task Force prosecutor reports an increase in GHB-related rapes.
According to the Muncie Police Department, MDMA and GHB are produced on a limited basis, primarily on Indiana college campuses; however, most MDMA available in Indiana was produced and shipped from Europe through various ports of entry. Recipes for MDMA and GHB are readily available on the Internet and precursors for production are easy to obtain. Federal authorities are teaming with the Fort Wayne Police Department to educate business owners in the area about the precursors used in MDMA and GHB production. In Evansville, store managers keep a close eye on certain products and inform authorities when such products are stolen. There is also an effort under way to teach young people about the dangers associated with the use of rave drugs such as MDMA, ketamine, and Rohypnol.
Local independent dealers, primarily Caucasian males between the ages of 18 and 35, transport other dangerous drugs into Indiana, which are introduced from a number of sources. According to law enforcement authorities, Chicago and Indianapolis are MDMA source cities. The Hamilton County Drug Task Force reports that Caucasian males between the ages of 18 and 35 are the primary transporters of MDMA brought into the area from Chicago, while a South Central Narcotics Task Force prosecutor reports that young adults obtain MDMA supplies from Indianapolis. The Fort Wayne Police Department identifies California and locations along the Southwest Border as LSD source areas.
Criminal groups use various methods to ship other dangerous drugs to Indiana. Law enforcement officials report that private vehicles and commercial aircraft are the primary methods used to transport other dangerous drugs to Indiana and that parcel delivery services are a secondary transportation method. A South Central Narcotics Task Force prosecutor reports the interception of a package containing 3,000 MDMA tablets shipped from the Netherlands, routed through Chicago en route to Bloomington, Indiana. Another report indicates that individuals who follow touring bands transport LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. LSD- and mushroom-related sales increase around concerts or annual college events. LSD, usually produced on the West Coast, most likely is transported to Indiana in personal vehicles or through parcel delivery services. A Vigo County Drug Task Force detective intercepted a large parcel containing psilocybin mushrooms addressed to a Terre Haute man. The Muncie Police Department reports that college students transport LSD and psilocybin mushrooms using mail services and also bring the drugs to Indiana from areas they visit during school breaks.
Local independent dealers--primarily Caucasian males between the ages of 18 and 35--are the primary MDMA and LSD wholesalers in Indiana, according to most of the Indiana respondents to the 2000 National Drug Threat Survey and other law enforcement authorities interviewed. A Muncie Police Department detective reports that local university students wholesale most of the MDMA and GHB in the area. The Hamilton County Drug Task Force reports that Caucasian males between the ages of 18 and 35 are wholesaling MDMA, GHB, and LSD in its area. A South Central Narcotics Task Force prosecutor reports that high school students between the ages of 16 and 18 are the primary MDMA wholesalers and that LSD and psilocybin mushrooms are found only during college events or concerts.
Most of the respondents to the 2000 National Drug Threat Survey and other subjects interviewed report that local independent dealers, primarily Caucasian males between the ages of 18 and 35, are the primary retailers of other dangerous drugs, particularly MDMA and LSD. The Hamilton County Drug Task Force reports that Caucasian males between the ages of 18 and 35 are retailing MDMA, LSD, and GHB in its jurisdiction. The Evansville Police Department and the Allen and Marion County Sheriff's Departments report that Caucasian groups are the primary retailers. The Fort Wayne Police Department reports that Caucasian males primarily distribute blotter acid and psychedelic mushrooms. A Muncie Police Department detective reports that local university students retail most of the MDMA and GHB in the area, a typical situation in college towns. A Vigo County Drug Task Force detective reports that college students are selling LSD and MDMA at coffee clubs off campus. A South Central Narcotics Task Force prosecutor reports that high school students between the ages of 16 and 18 are the primary MDMA retailers. In April 2000, a student at Carmel High School, just north of Indianapolis, was charged as an adult for selling approximately 20 hits of LSD to undercover officers. In November 1998, six students at the high school and middle school in Avon, Indiana, were arrested and charged with dealing or possessing LSD. While LSD arrests are not common in Avon, the drug appears to be making a comeback.
Law enforcement sources report that LSD and other designer drugs are found primarily during concert tours. The appearance of certain bands seems to correlate to increases in investigations, arrests, and seizures related to other dangerous drugs. For example, the Wayne County Sheriff's Department reports that distributors of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms apparently follow specific music bands. One concert resulted in 20 arrests for the two drugs.
Hydrocodone and hydromorphone are the prescription drugs most often sold illegally throughout Indiana. According to law enforcement sources, local healthcare professionals, independent dealers, and the Outlaws Motorcycle Club control illegal prescription retail sales. The Fort Wayne Police Department reports that healthcare professionals retail 30 percent of the hydrocodone and hydromorphone used in its area. The Marion County Sheriff's Department reports that the Outlaws Motorcycle Club and doctor shoppers are the primary hydrocodone and hydromorphone retailers.
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