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National Drug Intelligence Center
New York Drug Threat Assessment
Methamphetamine poses a low but increasing threat to New York. Methamphetamine abuse generally is limited to certain segments of the population. Most of the methamphetamine available in New York is produced in California and southwestern states; however, a limited number of methamphetamine laboratories have been seized in Upstate New York and on Long Island. Methamphetamine is transported into New York primarily by couriers who travel on commercial flights to the West Coast to purchase one-half pound to 1 kilogram of methamphetamine and then return to the state. Local independent dealers distribute methamphetamine at raves, techno parties, and nightclubs. Members of OMGs also distribute methamphetamine in New York.
Methamphetamine abuse generally is confined to limited segments of the population such as members of outlaw motorcycle gangs, some members of the gay community, and some residents of economically depressed rural neighborhoods. However, recent reports indicate that college students and rave and techno party attendees are abusing methamphetamine at an increasing rate.
The number of methamphetamine-related treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities in New York is dramatically lower than the numbers for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. According to TEDS data, there were significantly more methamphetamine-related treatment admissions in 2001 (374) than in 1997 (291). (See Table 3 in Overview section.)
Methamphetamine is rarely abused in New York City and Buffalo. According to DAWN data, the number of methamphetamine-related ED mentions in New York City fluctuated from 32 in 1997 to 31 in 2000. ED mentions for 2001 in New York City are not available. The number of methamphetamine-related ED mentions in Buffalo fluctuated from 8 in 1997 to 4 in 2001. DAWN mortality data indicate that there were two methamphetamine-related deaths in the New York metropolitan area in 1999 and three in 2000. In the Buffalo metropolitan area, there was one methamphetamine-related death in 1999 and none in 2000. However, on Long Island there were 42 methamphetamine-related deaths in 1999 and 38 in 2000. (See Text Box in Overview section.)
The percentage of high school students abusing methamphetamine in New York is lower than the national percentage. According to the 1999 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 6.4 percent of high school students in New York reported having abused methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime, compared with 9.1 percent nationwide.
The availability of methamphetamine is low but increasing in New York. According to FDSS data, federal law enforcement officials in New York seized approximately 44 kilograms of methamphetamine from 1998 through 2001. Most of that total was seized in 2000 and 2001. (See Table 1 in Overview section.)
Methamphetamine is rarely available in New York and, therefore, pricing information is limited. According to DEA, in New York City methamphetamine sold for $1,700 to $2,100 per ounce and $150 per gram in the first quarter of FY2002. In Upstate New York methamphetamine sold for $1,400 to $2,000 per ounce, $100 per gram, and $80 per one-half gram.
The percentage of federal sentences related to methamphetamine in New York was significantly lower than the national percentage from FY1996 through FY2000. According to USSC data, 1.2 percent of all drug-related federal sentences in New York in FY2000 were methamphetamine-related, compared with 14.5 percent nationwide. (See Table 2 in Overview section.)
Methamphetamine-related violence is rare in New York. However, the potential for violence associated with methamphetamine abuse is significant. Methamphetamine abusers experience feelings of paranoia, fright, and confusion and, as a result, abusers are known to become violent. Methamphetamine-related violence could increase if the number of abusers in New York increases.
Most of the methamphetamine available in New York is produced in California and southwestern states. According to DEA, Arabian pseudoephedrine distributors in New York transport pseudoephedrine from Canada for use in methamphetamine production on the West Coast. A very limited amount of methamphetamine production occurs in New York. According to EPIC, law enforcement officials seized two methamphetamine laboratories in New York in 2000 and eight in 2001. On May 2, 2002, law enforcement officials from a multiagency task force seized an operational methamphetamine laboratory in Brentwood, Long Island, a residential community located approximately 40 miles east of New York City. Task force officers believe, based on the amount of chemicals and sophisticated apparatus found at the site, that the laboratory was used to produce significant quantities of methamphetamine. The last major methamphetamine laboratory seizure on Long Island occurred 12 years ago and involved members of the Pagan's OMG.
Most of the methamphetamine available in New York is transported by couriers who travel on commercial flights to the West Coast to purchase one-half pound to 1 kilogram of methamphetamine and then return to the New York area. According to EPIC Arrival Zone Seizure Statistics, law enforcement officials in New York seized 4 kilograms of methamphetamine from commercial aircraft from 1997 through 2001--3 kilograms of which was seized in 1997. (See Table 6 in Cocaine section.)
Wholesale distribution of methamphetamine in New York is rare. Local independent dealers distribute methamphetamine at raves, techno parties, and nightclubs. Members of OMGs also distribute methamphetamine in New York.
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