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Wyoming Drug Threat Assessment
December 2001


Methamphetamine will continue to be the most serious drug threat to Wyoming. Domination of methamphetamine transportation and distribution by Mexican criminal groups, the ease with which it can be produced domestically, and the violence associated with methamphetamine distribution and abuse make it the primary drug threat for the foreseeable future. Methamphetamine is increasingly available, and its distributors will continue to meet user demand. Law enforcement will continue to target methamphetamine distribution by Mexican criminal groups. As a large number of abusers continue to inject the drug, the exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other diseases transmitted through contact with infected needles will become a significant concern to law enforcement and public health officials. Law enforcement officials are concerned that this intravenous drug-using population may move toward other injectable drugs such as heroin and OxyContin, a pharmaceutical available in tablet form but which can be injected when crushed and mixed with water. Federal and state agencies can expect methamphetamine-related social and medical problems to increase throughout the state.

The production, distribution, and abuse of marijuana will continue to be eclipsed by methamphetamine; however, marijuana will remain widely available and widely abused. It will remain the drug most often seized by law enforcement. Mexico-produced marijuana will continue to be the dominant type of marijuana available in Wyoming. Marijuana produced in other states by Mexican criminal groups will also continue to be available. However, local growers will continue to cultivate cannabis indoors. While local growers are not reportedly employing violent means of protecting their crops, the possibility of such activity occurring in Wyoming remains constant.

Distribution and abuse of cocaine and heroin do not pose as serious a threat as methamphetamine to Wyoming. Cocaine abuse will likely remain stable and at low levels relative to methamphetamine abuse; demand for cocaine may decline as methamphetamine abuse increases.

Heroin abuse will remain stable at low levels. There is insufficient demand in Wyoming to support increased heroin distribution. However, law enforcement authorities are concerned that the growing intravenous methamphetamine user population in Wyoming could switch to intravenous heroin abuse. Should heroin demand increase, the Mexican criminal groups operating in Wyoming have the ability to provide ample supplies of heroin, based on the existing drug distribution infrastructure.

ODDs are a minimal threat to Wyoming, but MDMA will be of increasing concern to law enforcement authorities. Club drug abuse may increase as MDMA becomes more available and MDMA abuse expands beyond Laramie and Albany Counties. In the absence of laws restricting the sale of chemicals, solvents, and fuels to minors, inhalants will continue to be used among Wyoming youth with more frequency than ODDs. Abuse of diverted pharmaceuticals will remain at low levels. All available indicators show that widespread abuse of oxycodone products will not likely occur soon.

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