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NDIC seal linked to Home Page. National Drug Intelligence Center
Arizona Drug Threat Assessment
December 2003


Arizona will continue to serve as a destination and transshipment point for illicit drugs. Mexican DTOs will remain the greatest threat to the state. These organizations use Arizona to transport and distribute large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana destined for markets in Arizona and other areas of the United States.

Methamphetamine, both powdered and crystal, will remain the principal drug threat to Arizona. Crystal methamphetamine will continue to attract new users because of its increasing availability and high purity. Crystal methamphetamine will become more available in smaller cities and rural areas throughout the state and may surpass powdered methamphetamine as the predominant type available in some areas. Mexican DTOs and criminal groups likely will increase the amount of methamphetamine they smuggle into Arizona as demand for the drug grows.

Cocaine will remain a significant drug threat to Arizona although there are some indications that cocaine use may be declining somewhat. Powdered and crack cocaine will remain widely available throughout the state, with crack more available in larger metropolitan areas. Mexican DTOs and criminal groups have historically used the state to transport shipments of cocaine into and through Arizona to drug markets throughout the country, and there are no indications that this trend will change.

The availability, distribution, and abuse of heroin are not likely to decrease in the near future. Although Mexican black tar heroin will remain the dominant type available in Arizona, the availability of Mexican brown powdered heroin will continue to expand beyond the urban areas to smaller towns. Mexican DTOs will continue to be the primary transporters and distributors of heroin in the state.

Marijuana will remain the most commonly available and widely abused drug in Arizona. Marijuana produced in Mexico will remain the predominant type available. Arizona will continue to serve as a gateway for smuggling marijuana from Mexico into the United States.

The abuse of ODDs such as the club drugs MDMA, GHB and its analogs, ketamine, LSD, PCP, and Rohypnol; inhalants; and diverted pharmaceuticals is likely to increase, particularly among teenagers and young adults. Abuse of club drugs and pharmaceuticals will spread to less populated areas of the state. Mexican DTOs may become involved in the distribution of club drugs if demand increases.

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