ARCHIVED To Contents To Previous Page To Next Page To Publications Page To Home Page
National Drug Intelligence Center
District of Columbia Drug Threat Assessment Update
Other Dangerous Drugs
The distribution and abuse of the hallucinogen PCP and club drugs such as MDMA and GHB and its analogs pose serious threats, particularly to teenagers and young adults in the District of Columbia. The diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals also pose a threat to D.C.
PCP (phencyclidine) abuse and the potential for PCP-related violence are increasing--making this drug a serious threat. This hallucinogen, also known as angel dust, ozone, wack, and rocket fuel, is primarily abused by young African American and lower- to middle-class Caucasian individuals in the District. While the drug remains a street drug of choice, it is rapidly becoming the drug of choice at raves and nightclubs and sometimes is abused in combination with marijuana and/or MDMA. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the number of PCP-related arrests increased fourfold from 2001 through 2002. In addition, the Metropolitan Police Department reported that 16 percent of adults arrested and screened for illicit drugs in October 2002 tested positive for PCP, an increase from 4 percent in October 1998. In 2002 the Metropolitan Police Department seized 0.82 kilograms of PCP.
PCP-related treatment admissions and ED mentions have increased dramatically in D.C. According to TEDS data, the number of PCP-related treatment admissions increased 144 percent from 43 in 2000 to 105 in 2001. DAWN data indicate that the number of ED mentions for PCP in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area increased 66 percent from 317 in 2000 to 525 in 2001. Further, preliminary estimates indicate that there were 351 ED mentions for PCP from January through June 2002. This represents a 63.3 percent increase over the same time period in 2001. In 2001 the rate of PCP mentions per 100,000 population in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area (13) was significantly higher than the rate nationwide (2). (See Table 1 in Cocaine section.) In addition, PCP was a factor in three deaths in the District in 2001, according to DAWN mortality data.
In D.C. African American and lower- to middle-class Caucasian individuals, who often abuse the drug themselves, are the primary transporters and wholesale-level distributors of PCP. The drug usually is transported from sources in California; however, the recent seizure of a large-scale PCP laboratory in Baltimore indicates that the drug has been produced in the region. Crews and local independent dealers of various ethnic backgrounds are the primary retail-level distributors of PCP.
PCP sold for $350 to $600 per ounce during the fourth quarter of FY2002, according to the DEA Washington Division. Cigarettes dipped in liquid PCP, known as dippers, sold for $20 to $25 each in the fourth quarter of FY2002.
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is the most readily available and frequently abused club drug in the District. Most MDMA available in D.C. is distributed and abused by teenagers and young adults. DAWN ED data indicate that there were 110 MDMA mentions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in 2001--a 41 percent increase from 78 in 2000. Preliminary estimates indicate that there were 46 MDMA ED mentions from January through June 2002.
According to the DEA Washington Division, Dominican DTOs and Asian criminal groups increasingly are transporting and distributing MDMA. These distributors typically travel in private or rental vehicles to New York, Philadelphia, Orlando, and Miami to purchase wholesale quantities of MDMA for distribution in the District. MDMA also is transported into D.C. from foreign source areas such as the Netherlands and Belgium via commercial aircraft arriving at the three major airports located near D.C. There were several multithousand-tablet seizures at these airports in 2002.
MDMA abusers typically serve as retail-level distributors, selling the drug primarily at raves and nightclubs; however, crews and local independent dealers of various ethnic backgrounds also distribute MDMA, often along with cocaine. Wholesale quantities of MDMA sold for $5 to $13 per tablet, and retail quantities sold for $18 to $25 per tablet in the fourth quarter of FY2002, according to the DEA Washington Division.
GHB and Analogs
The availability and abuse of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) and its analogs--GBL, BD, GHV, and GVL--are relatively low but increasing in the District. GHB analogs are drugs that possess chemical structures that closely resemble GHB, a central nervous system depressant. GHB and its analogs also are known as liquid ecstasy, scoop, Georgia home boy, and grievous bodily harm. At lower doses they cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and visual disturbances. At higher doses unconsciousness, seizure, severe respiratory depression, and coma can occur. Because of their sedative properties, GHB and its analogs also have been used to facilitate sexual assaults throughout the nation. DAWN data indicate that there were 24 GHB ED mentions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in 2000 and 15 in 2001. Preliminary estimates indicate that there were 6 GHB ED mentions from January through June 2002.
GHB generally is produced outside D.C. and transported into the city by local independent dealers of various ethnic backgrounds. High school and college students typically distribute retail quantities of GHB at raves and dance parties. GHB sold for $35 to $50 per ounce and $10 to $15 per capful during the fourth quarter of FY2002, according to the DEA Washington Division.
End of page.