Mississippi has struggled with the abuse of crack cocaine for many years, however the increasing availability and abuse of methamphetamine seems to be taking over as the primary drug threat in Mississippi. In addition to meth and cocaine addiction, marijuana continues to be the most readily available and abused drug in Mississippi. Availability of club drugs and heroin are known to be increasing, these drugs are not as accessible as the other drugs but still pose threats. According to data from the 2005-2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among citizens 12 and older there were approximately 177,000 reports of past month illicit drug use, 72,000 reported past year illicit drug dependence or abuse and approximately 47,000 reported past year illicit drug dependence. Additional NSDUH data indicates that approximately 66,000 Mississippi citizens reported needing but not receiving treatment for illicit drug use within the past year.
In Mississippi the Primary Drug Threat is Cocaine
The primary drug threat in Mississippi is cocaine in powder and crack form. The amount of violence directly associated with cocaine along with its high addiction rate make this drug a major threat to the state. African American criminal groups as well as Colombian and Mexican drug trafficking organizations transport the majority of the cocaine. Cocaine in either powder or crack form accounted for more than 50% of Federal drug cases in Mississippi.
Heroin is Increasing in Availability Throughout the State
Although heroin availability has increased in recent years, the drug is considered a minimal threat in Mississippi. Mississippi is not considered a major consumer state of heroin, and most of the heroin seizures are en route for eastern states.
Meth Continues to be a Very Serious Threat in Mississippi
Although crack cocaine is the primary drug threat in Mississippi, methamphetamine is one of the most serious drug threats. This drug has become overwhelmingly available and abused, and not only poses a threat to its users but the environment as well. The rapid increase of abuse, dangerous conditions during production and violent crimes generated form meth make it the fastest spreading drug threat in Mississippi. During 2007, 46 children were affected by methamphetamine laboratories in Mississippi. Additional data indicates since 2003, there have been at least 130 meth lab incidents per year.
Abuse of Ecstasy is on the Rise
Although club drugs do not pose as significant a threat as cocaine and meth, the availability is increasing. The most popular club drug in Mississippi is ecstasy, and use is increasing. Other club drugs such as ketamine and GHB are not widely available throughout Mississippi. Reports of a 2007 survey of high school students in Mississippi indicate that over 7% have used ecstasy at least once in their lifetime.
Marijuana Seems to be the Drug of Choice in Mississippi
The most abused and widely available drug in Mississippi continues to be marijuana. Reports show that marijuana is a gateway drug for individuals using drugs, and eventually leads to more serious drug addictions. Federal Agencies in Mississippi seized a total of 777.1 kilograms of marijuana during 2007.