Louisiana has been ranked among the 10 states with the lowest rates of past year and past month marijuana use, as well as past year cocaine use. However, Louisiana struggles with rates of illicit drug abuse greater than the national average. This is seen among the population 26 and older who rank among the highest in the country for rates of past year dependence on or abuse of illicit drugs. Treatment centers in Louisiana have witnessed a drastic increase in the number of admissions mentioning opiates, with drug only admissions doubling to 44% of total admissions. Even with drug only admissions accounting for nearly half of all admissions, Louisiana has one of the highest rates of unmet drug treatment need in the country.
Cocaine Remains the Number One Drug Threat in Louisiana
Cocaine. mainly crack, along with the severe addiction, crime and violence directly associated with the drug is the number one drug threat in Louisiana. The majority of cocaine transported into Louisiana is done by both Mexican and African American drug trafficking organizations. Once the cocaine is in Louisiana the majority is converted into crack, and distributed by African Americans. Crack cocaine accounted for 45% of the total drug cases in Louisiana.
Heroin in New Orleans, Louisiana is readily available at low cost. Both South American and Mexican heroin are known to be available in Louisiana. Mexican drug trafficking organizations are the primary suppliers of heroin in Louisiana. However, with the availability and low cost, heroin is considered a low drug threat in most areas of Louisiana.
Violent Crimes are Directly Associated with Meth Abuse in Louisiana
A major drug threat in Louisiana continues to be methamphetamine. Low cost, availability as well as the long lasting effects of meth is making it one of the primary drug threats in Louisiana. Mexican drug trafficking organizations transport the majority of the meth in Louisiana from Mexico. There are also meth labs located in Louisiana, but these laboratories do not produce enough meth to distribute throughout the state. Throughout the state, methamphetamine production and distribution is posing hazardous conditions to the community as well as generating many violent crimes. During 2008, 6 meth lab incidents along with 4 children affected by meth labs.
Availability and Abuse of Ecstasy are increasing Among Youth
Louisiana has seen a rise in the use of club drugs among teens and young adults. There has been a reported increase of abuse and availability of MDMA, Ketamine, Rohypnol, LSD and GHB. MDMA and GHB are known to be the top club drugs of choice. During 2008 there were more than 15,000 units of MDMA seized in Louisiana.
Marijuana is a Gateway Drug for Every Age Group
The most commonly abused drug in Louisiana continues to be marijuana, which is known to be a gateway drug for teens and young adults who eventually use other illicit drugs. Mexican drug trafficking organizations control the majority of the wholesale distribution throughout Louisiana, with other local gangs and dealers distributing marijuana to the local community. More than 2,000 marijuana plants were eradicated and seized during 2008.