Throughout Montana there has been an increase of the abuse of marijuana and methamphetamine. Although marijuana is the most abused, law enforcement has labeled methamphetamine as the most significant drug problem in Montana. The use and availability of other drug such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy are not as widespread throughout the state but are available in larger communities. There were a total of 6,502 drug offenses in Montana and 523 drug offenses against juveniles during 2007. Studies from the 2005-2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated approximately 84,000 citizens in Montana reported past month use of an illicit drug, 25,000 reported illicit drug dependence or abuse within the past year and 16,000 reported past year illicit drug dependence. Additional data states approximately 23,000 individuals within the last year in Montana did not receive the treatment needed for their drug addiction.
Highschool Students Report Cocaine USe
Throughout the larger and denser populated areas of Montana cocaine continues to be available. Street gangs with ties to California and Chicago control the distribution of cocaine in Montana. The use of crack cocaine is considered to be a significant problem on Native American reservations. During 2007 almost 12% of high school seniors reported using cocaine at least once in their lifetime.
Heroin has Increased in Availability
Heroin is not known to be readily available in Montana, though reports show an increase in availability in western Montana. This is primarily due to the the states proximity to Washington which is known as a heroin transshipment point.
Methamphetamine Abuse is the Primary Drug Threat in Montana
The most significant drug problem in Montana is the increasing availability and abuse of methamphetamine. Although studies suggest availability is declining, methamphetamine accounts for a large percentage of drug rehab admissions in Montana. During 2007, 69% of Federal drug offenses involved methamphetamine.
Ecstasy & Other Club Drugs are Posing a Threat
Club drugs are not widely available throughout Montana but continue to be available in larger communities as well as areas close to universities. The most popular club drug is ecstasy, and others such as LSD, GHB and ketamine are limited to college communities. More than one out of every 20 Montana high school seniors surveyed in 2007 reported using ecstasy at least once in their lifetime.
Marijuana Continues to be Heavily Abused in Montana
The most commonly abused and readily available drug throughout Montana has consistently been marijuana. The majority of the marijuana is transported from Mexico and there has been an increase in popularity of more potent marijuana originating in Canada. This Canadian marijuana is smuggled across the border directly into Montana, and eventually transported to other areas of the U.S. During 2007 there were 342 marijuana plants eradicated in Montana.