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Arkansas Drug Threat Assessment
Publication Date: October 2003
Document ID: 2003-S0389AR-001
Archived on: January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.
This report is a strategic assessment that addresses the status and outlook of the drug threat to Arkansas. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data, particularly demand-related data sets. NDIC anticipates that this drug threat assessment will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels because it draws upon a broad range of information sources to describe and analyze the drug threat to Arkansas.
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Other Dangerous Drugs
List of Tables
Table 1. Drug-Related Treatment Admissions, Arkansas, SFY1998-SFY2002
Table 2. Percentage of Drug-Related Federal Sentences for Methamphetamine, Arkansas and United States, FY1997-FY2001
Table 3. Methamphetamine Laboratory Seizures, Arkansas, 1998-2002
The production, distribution, and abuse of illicit drugs pose a serious threat to Arkansas. Little Rock is the primary market area in the state and also serves as a transit point for drugs being transported to other states. Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation and distribution of most illicit drugs throughout Arkansas. Local independent dealers, street gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs also distribute drugs in the state.
Methamphetamine is a principal drug threat to Arkansas, primarily because of the drug's ready availability and the violence and environmental harm that often result from methamphetamine production and abuse. Methamphetamine produced by Mexican criminal groups in Mexico, California, and southwestern states is widely available in Arkansas. Methamphetamine produced in the state, generally by Caucasian local independent producers, also is available. Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters and wholesale distributors of methamphetamine produced in Mexico, California, and southwestern states. Local independent producers control the transportation and distribution of the methamphetamine they produce within the state. Mexican criminal groups, Caucasian local independent dealers, street gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs distribute methamphetamine at the retail level throughout Arkansas.
Cocaine, particularly crack, poses a significant threat to Arkansas because it is readily available, highly addictive, and frequently associated with violent crime. Powdered cocaine is available throughout most of the state, while crack cocaine primarily is available in the larger cities. Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation of powdered cocaine into Arkansas, smuggling the drug from Mexico through California and southwestern states to Arkansas primarily in private and commercial vehicles. These groups also dominate wholesale powdered cocaine distribution throughout the state. African American street gangs and local independent dealers also distribute some powdered cocaine at the wholesale level. African American street gangs and local independent dealers are the primary distributors of powdered and crack cocaine at the retail level. Mexican criminal groups also distribute powdered cocaine at the retail level, but to a lesser extent. African American street gangs and local independent dealers typically convert powdered cocaine into crack for retail distribution at or near distribution sites. Retail cocaine distribution commonly occurs on street corners, in bars, and at private residences and is facilitated by the use of pagers, pay phones, and cellular telephones.
Marijuana is the most widely available and frequently abused illicit drug in Arkansas. Most of the marijuana available in the state is produced in Mexico, although some cannabis is cultivated locally. Mexican criminal groups, local independent dealers, and street gangs transport marijuana into Arkansas in private and commercial vehicles. Mexican criminal groups and local independent dealers are the primary wholesale- and retail-level marijuana distributors in the state. Street gangs also distribute marijuana at the retail level. Marijuana typically is distributed at the retail level from bars, strip clubs, schools, parking lots, residences, businesses, and at concerts.
Other dangerous drugs pose varying threats to Arkansas. Other dangerous drugs include the club drugs MDMA, GHB and its analogs, LSD, and Rohypnol; the hallucinogen psilocybin; inhalants; and diverted pharmaceuticals including hydrocodone (Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), codeine, and benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax). Club drugs and psilocybin are transported into Arkansas in private vehicles, by couriers aboard commercial aircraft, and via package delivery services. Many of these drugs are distributed and abused by middle-class, suburban young adults and college students at raves, nightclubs, and on college campuses. Inhalant abusers, primarily adolescents, inhale chemical vapors from a variety of substances, many of which are common household products. Diverted pharmaceuticals generally are obtained throughout the state by diversion techniques including improper prescribing practices, prescription forgery, and "doctor shopping."
Heroin poses a low threat to Arkansas. Mexican black tar heroin and brown powdered heroin are available on a limited basis, primarily in the larger cities in the state such as Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, and West Memphis. Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of heroin into Arkansas. Local Caucasian independent distributors also transport heroin into Arkansas to a limited extent. Heroin generally is not distributed at the wholesale level in the state. Mexican criminal groups and local independent dealers are the primary retail distributors of heroin.
National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901
Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840
Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807
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