Drug Abuse in Arkansas
There were 11,154 total drug arrests in Arkansas during 2006, of which The Drug Enforcement Administration made 376. Inner city neighborhoods have witnessed an increase in gang violence partly because of the crack cocaine problems in Arkansas. Tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana as well as hundreds of kilograms of cocaine are seized every year on Arkansas’ highways. Law enforcement air surveillance has increased, resulting in a decrease of outdoor marijuana production. Almost 30% of Federally sentenced offenders in Arkansas were meth related.
Cocaine Abuse Leads to Crime in Arkansas
Cocaine and crack cocaine continue to be a threat in Arkansas. The majority of violent crimes in inner cities and rural Arkansas are directly associated with the abuse and distribution of crack cocaine. Methamphetamine use has surpassed that of cocaine, but cocaine continues to be the main concern among law enforcement. The reason for this is for the violent crimes directly associated with the use and distribution of cocaine. The explosive growth of crack cocaine can be attributed to the increased availability, inexpensive price and the addictive properties. Both forms of cocaine, powder and crack, are transported into Arkansas and distributed from Little Rock, Texarkana, El Dorado, Hot Springs and Dumas.
Heroin use is not identified as a significant problem by law enforcement agencies in Arkansas. Mexican trafficking organizations are responsible for what little heroin is in Arkansas. Drug enforcement agencies in Little Rock have recently seized a small amount of heroin from Los Angeles which was transported through the mail. Colombian heroin originating from Baltimore, Maryland has also been known to be shipped through the mail to Little Rock.
Meth Abuse is the Primary Concern
Methamphetamine was only an issue to the Southwest and Pacific regions of the United States, but recently has grown to become the primary drug of concern in Arkansas. The methamphetamine in Arkansas is locally produced as well as imported meth produced in Mexico. Precursor chemicals are widely available in Arkansas, and criminal groups are acquiring thousands of cases of pseudoephedrine from wholesalers having it illegally shipped to the methamphetamine producers in Arkansas. Approximately 1/3 of Federaly sentenced offenders in Arkansa were meth related.
Abuse of Ecstasy & Club Drugs is Rising
In Arkansas the demand for club drugs is rising. The greatest future threat for the youth of Arkansas is Ecstasy, but LSD, GHB and Ketamine continue to be readily available. The Little Rock and Fayetteville areas are receiving LSD from sources in California which are then redistributed throughout Arkansas. Drug trafficking organizations are using the U.S. Postal Service as well as commercial shipping companies to transport the LSD. Several different forms of LSD are available in Arkansas including blotter paper and vials of liquid.
Throughout Arkansas marijuana is in high demand and readily available. Mexican and locally produced marijuana is abundantly available in Arkansas. The locally grown marijuana is distributed to other states, the majority of it going to Mississippi and Texas. Most of the marijuana produced in state is being grown in the eastern and northwestern regions of Arkansas. Domestic marijuana producers are moving their operations indoors due to the increase in air surveillance by law enforcement personnel.