National Drug Intelligence Center
National Drug Threat Assessment 2006
Other Dangerous Drugs
The availability of and demand for ODDs are generally much lower than those for major drugs of abuse and are decreasing. MDMA trafficking, in particular, decreased significantly after a surge in abuse in the late 1990s and early 2000s; however, recent attempts by Asian criminal groups to expand MDMA trafficking appear to have resulted in some resurgence in MDMA distribution in 2005. The trafficking and abuse of GHB and LSD are at low levels and are only a moderate concern because the consumption of these drugs is limited and distribution is controlled primarily by small-scale, independent producers and distributors. PCP (phencyclidine) is commonly distributed by street gangs--primarily African American street gangs; however, trafficking of the drug is limited, and abuse appears to be diminishing.
The trafficking and abuse of MDMA decreased nationally over the last 3 years; however, increasingly organized distribution by Canada-based Asian criminal groups may have resulted in some resurgence in MDMA distribution in 2005. All available national-level data regarding MDMA availability (seizure, arrest, and law enforcement survey data) and MDMA demand (NSDUH and MTF data) strongly indicate that availability and use of the drug peaked in 2001 and decreased consistently and significantly through 2004. In fact, the number of MDMA-related arrests decreased 53 percent (1,974 to 936) from 2001 to 2004 (see Appendix B, Table 4). The number of seized MDMA samples tested by DEA decreased 85 percent (13,241,796 to 2,018,226) from 2001 to 2004; however, successful investigations targeting MDMA distribution groups resulted in a sharp increase in the number of seized MDMA samples tested by DEA in 2005 (8,592,376) (see Appendix B, Table 5). Despite attempts by Asian criminal groups to increase MDMA distribution, MTF data show that rates of past year use for MDMA have declined significantly for all sampled age groups from 2001 through 2005, particularly among twelfth graders (9.2% to 3.0%) (see Appendix B, Table 2). However, the rising influence of Asian criminal groups--especially Vietnamese and Chinese groups--over MDMA transportation from Canada to the United States and over wholesale distribution in large domestic MDMA markets such as New York and Los Angeles threatens to increase the drug's availability, distribution, and abuse. In fact, Asian criminal groups may be able to develop nationwide wholesale distribution networks stronger than those established by the Israeli and Russian criminal groups that controlled most MDMA distribution during the late 1990s and early 2000s, before many were disrupted by law enforcement.
The threat posed by the trafficking and abuse of GHB is low; any national increase in the near term is unlikely. National-level data regarding GHB availability, albeit limited, indicate that availability of the drug has decreased since 2000 to relatively low levels in most areas. For example, the number of GHB samples seized and tested by DEA decreased 94 percent (1,141,005 to 66,681) from 2000 through 2005 (see Appendix B, Table 5). Although the number of DEA arrests for GHB increased (from 2 to 19) during that period, the number remains far too low to allow any reliable conclusions to be drawn with respect to availability of the drug (see Appendix B, Table 4). Limited data regarding GHB use show that rates of use have fluctuated and, overall, indicate neither an increasing nor a decreasing trend. Law enforcement reporting does not indicate widespread or well-organized distribution of GHB by international traffickers such as Mexican, Colombian, Dominican, or Asian DTOs. Therefore, a significant, nationwide increase in GHB distribution is unlikely in the near term.
LSD trafficking and abuse have decreased sharply since 2000, and a resurgence does not appear likely in the near term. National-level data regarding LSD availability (such as LSD seizures and LSD-related arrests) show a sharp decrease since 2000. LSD seizures, for example, decreased 100 percent from 2000 through 2005, and LSD-related arrests decreased 84.9 percent from 2000 through 2004 (see Appendix B, Table 4 and Table 5). Demand for LSD also has decreased sharply since 2000, as reflected in national-level prevalence studies. In fact, MTF and NSDUH data show that rates of past year use for LSD have decreased significantly for nearly every sampled age group (see Appendix B, Table 1 and Table 2). Production of the drug also appears to be limited--with no reported laboratory seizures in 2004--and controlled by a relatively small number of experienced chemists. Moreover, LSD distribution appears to be very limited in most areas of the country. As such, resurgence in widespread LSD distribution is unlikely in the near term.
The threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of PCP is very low and decreasing. National-level data regarding the availability of PCP are mixed and, therefore, do not indicate a clear trend. However, the data clearly indicate that, nationally, availability of the drug is very low. For example, DEA reported only 13,260 seized and tested PCP samples in 2005, the lowest number of samples since 2000 (see Appendix B, Table 5). Similarly, the number of PCP-related arrests has fluctuated but remains very low (65 in 2004) compared with the number of arrests for most other illicit drugs (see Appendix B, Table 4). Although availability data are mixed, demand data show a clear decrease in the rates of past year use for PCP. In fact, both MTF and NSDUH show stable or declining rates of past year use for PCP among all sampled age groups from 2000 through 2004 (see Appendix B, Table 1 and Table 2). PCP production also appears to be stable but very limited since 2000, with only six reported laboratory seizures in 2004. Most PCP production and distribution are controlled by national-level African American street gangs, and any significant increase in production or distribution would be dependent on an increased effort on the part of these gangs. Such an increase would not be profitable given current demand and, therefore, does not appear imminent.
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