With a population of over 4 million, Alabama has a widespread availability of drug threats and illegal drugs that arrive from outside of the state. Alabama’s increasing danger of local homegrown marijuana and manufacture of methamphetamine, and also designer drugs are posing a problem and are causing a rise in the need for Alabama drug rehab programs. Cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine are the main drugs that are arriving and being shipped through Alabama.
Drug Issues Currently Affecting Alabama
Drug related issues continue to affect individuals, families, and communities in astonishing numbers among the American population in the twenty-first century. Alabama is not immune to the issues caused by drug abuse since social and environmental factors play the same significant role in human behavior in this state as they do everywhere else.
Why Alabama’s Drug Issue is So Out Of Control
Although Alabama’s police and state officials deal with the trafficking of illegal drugs more stringently than in other states, an increase in drug abuse remains a growing problem. Alabama is one of several states that has the lowest per capita income in the nation. As a result, Alabama’s poorer citizens are seduced by drug dealers offering cheap but dangerous illegal drugs to them, contributing to a rash of drug addiction that shows no sign of letting up any time soon. The main reason why Alabamans are becoming so easily hooked on drugs is because of having easy access to these drugs by both local drug pushers selling them on the inside as well as international factions bringing drugs over the border.
Current Drug Issues in Alabama
No two drug addiction cases are exactly the same and certain drugs are preferred more than others. Regardless of why victims fall prey to the allure of drug addiction, the major drugs that continue to prove troublesome for Alabama officials to finally get off of the streets include:
Marijuana- In Alabama, seven percent of the population admitted to using an illegal drug in the last month. It is not surprising, then, that marijuana accounts for the majority of drug-related arrests in Alabama, and has steadily spiked in the past ten years. Authorities have also reported a significant rise in the volume of seizures themselves. It used to be that a significant bust would be 10 pounds or more, whereas they now have observed that the volume of product being seized has increased to 50-100 pounds just within a few years. Although officials have managed to significantly squash the growth of marijuana domestically, over-the-border trafficking has increased, which counteracts the progress made in this way. Huntsville, Alabama has witnessed the greatest surge in load-size and street drug pushing and teenagers and people in their twenties have consistently made up the largest number of offenders.
Cocaine- As mentioned earlier, marijuana accounts for many drug arrests, but the biggest drug threat to Alabama’s lower-income areas is cocaine. It appears that the surge of cocaine abuse in Alabama is due to metro area pushers in Atlanta and Miami looking for fertile ground to establish permanent hubs for cocaine distribution and use there. Moreover, the bulk of Alabama’s cocaine inventory is funneled in through California, Arizona and Texas.
Putting moral sensibilities aside, drug distributors and dealers have an ingenious system when it comes to trafficking cocaine. Distributors sell cocaine in its hydrochloride form to get around severe federal penalties in the event of arrest and/or conviction. Later, dealers will turn the hydrochloride form of cocaine into crack and prepare it for purchase. The setup of cocaine ‘kitchens’ in Alabama’s drug underground has made many of the state’s poorer neighborhoods increasingly violent and places to live.
Heroin- The purity and rather low price of heroin is why more and more Alabamans are becoming hooked on this substance. In addition,there has been a recent spike in the number of heroin-related addictions within the region because of heroin being a substance that contains highly addictive properties.
Methamphetamine- The biggest popularity rival of marijuana is methamphetamine (meth) in its scope of production in Alabama. Between the homegrown production of this drug in makeshift labs and the infiltration of the state’s borders via international cartels, state authorities list meth as one of Alabama’s most immediate threats in the fight against illegal drugs. This is the case because the materials needed to create domestic meth often call for the theft of various substances housed at farms and gas companies, creating yet another criminal issue associated with the drug’s distribution. Although meth lab seizures in Alabama have declined in low limits over the past ten years, the use and proliferation of meth is still a dangerous and widespread threat.
Club Drugs- An emerging drug threat that has recently surfaced in the Alabama drug scene is the introduction of “club drugs”, such as GHB, LSD, ecstasy, molly, the purest form of ecstasy; it usually comes as a free powder, pressed pills or in capsules, and MDA oftentimes is sold as molly. The color of pure ecstasy is white, but mostly commonly beige yellow-brown or brown and sometimes will reflect a grayish color. It is noted that drugs of this category have taken a foothold among the younger, party-going generation, which particularly poses a problematic danger for schools and universities in Alabama since users tend to include club-goers of all social statuses.
Ecstasy abuse first gained popularity among preteens/teens and young adults in weekend dance parties (raves) this group of users has evolved. It appears that as a particular drug grows in popularity, the volume and demographic of people becoming addicted to that drug will eventually expand as well. Based on the continued community-level data from NIDA’s Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG), the use of ecstasy has spread among populations outside the nightclub scene.
Ecstasy, which is really the drug MDMA (also commonly known as X, E, XTC, Adam, etc.) is a semi-synthetic chemical compound has the average cost of $10-$30 (U.S.) a dose. it is commonly taken by snorting, swallowing, injecting or smoking the drug. Because ecstasy has a physiological effect that is similar to amphetamines and cocaine, it is listed on the U.S. Schedule I of controlled substances and is illegal to manufacture, possess, or sell in the United States. Even mild to moderate abuse of ecstasy may cause changes in the way the brain produces and distributes neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine. This
can affect an individual’s memory, sleep patterns, mood, pain sensitivity, aggression, sexual activity, appetite and mental stability.
The effects of ecstasy abuse on the user’s brain are serotonin-related according to studies. After using ecstasy, the affect that it has on the brain may display itself by change of mood, such as tiredness, depression followed right after a high feeling. The ecstasy user’s body will eventually produce more serotonin, but it may take longer for it to be restored to normal levels. Therefore, taking a heavy dose of ecstasy may render the user unable to even get up out of bed to go to school or a job.
The main reason why club-goers often take club drugs is to heighten the thrill they feel while at the club, as a form of escape from reality. Club drugs are typically smuggled into the state from Tennessee, Atlanta, Miami, and even overseas from Germany. Although molly still reigns supreme as the most popular club drug used in Alabama, the amount of reported GHB overdoses is increasing in alarming numbers, which establishes GHB as a significant threat for local and federal authorities to tackle.
Prescription Drugs- Illegal drug abuse is not the only enemy present destroying Alabaman communities since Alabama’s drug war also includes substances being abused within the pharmaceutical family. One major prescription drug that has created widespread addiction is OxyContin, and its generic partner, oxycodone. Both drugs have been seen as the major culprits of many drug-related deaths in several parts of the state. Other prescription drug threats include the abuse of:
- Xanax – A morphine derivative
Prescription Injuries and Deaths Increases Urgency Among Officials
According to the CDC, the rate of painkiller prescriptions sold per 10,000 people in 2010 in Alabama was among the highest in the nation! Interestingly, individuals misuse of pain relievers was caused by directly getting these drugs from a relative or friend. In some cases, the abuser would take prescribed painkillers intended for their family or friend without their knowledge. As a result, The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently warning citizens about the rise in drug-related injuries and deaths.
Between the years 2008-2010 in Alabama, eight percent of deaths in people ages 18-25 and nine percent of deaths in people ages 26-44 occurred due to unintentional poisoning by biological substances or certain drugs.
According to Blount County Coroner, John Mark Vaughn, the results of prescription drug abuse is so completely out of control, that officials must act quickly to prevent citizens from administering a mixture of prescribed drugs,such as Xanax and methadone (known as Blount County cocktail), due to the high number of overdose death rates associated with this practice. The coroner also relates his concern of emphasizing the issues specifically tied to the abuse of prescription drugs compared to illegal drugs, because the partaking of prescription cocktails is seen to be more dangerous in its biological effect than the latter.
In response to this trend, Alabama has taken proactive steps to try and stop their citizens from self-destructing by closely monitoring prescription drug abuse. Managed through the Pharmacy Division of the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program strives to meet the following main objective:
- Notify medical practitioners and pharmacies about the individuals they prescribe medication to every month who may have acquired these controlled substances under false pretenses. As an example, the program was alerted to multiple individuals going to several medical practitioner’s offices and pharmacies (six or more at the same time) to obtain controlled substances in 2011 alone.
A state health officer, Dr. Donald Williamson, observes that strong prescription painkillers and anxiety drugs are now being used more frequently in higher doses than they were previously, which is why it is so important for prescription drug monitoring programs to remain vigilant against these substances misuse.
The Alabama Task Force
Created by legislation last year, The Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force is trying to redefine its mission as it relates to Alabama drug policies. The force recognizes that laws designed to handle the drug crisis were established without accurate information, and therefore have proven ineffective in their enforcement. To paraphrase the deputy director of Alabama District Attorneys Association and chairman of the task force, Barry Matson, “Without accurate information legislators have nowhere to begin to make a difference.”
The issue of drug abuse is also connected with 75 percent of crimes being committed in Alabama which appears to be an ongoing cycle. The effectiveness of the war on drugs goes beyond apprehending criminals and putting them in jail. Law enforcement has gradually had to change their mindset as to how they see the drug crisis in the state, like any other war. It is thought that putting the average drug user in prison is not the answer either since this does not change their behavioral patterns. Although officials are starting to make concerted efforts to address drug abuse by educating citizens of the dangers of addiction to various substances, Alabama ranks among the top states in usage of prescription painkillers.
Also, the structure of the average household has changed significantly. Law enforcement faces an alarming hurdle where both young people and adults, including living in or outside the home share the same common problem: drug addiction. It is the observation by law enforcement that it was much easier to find a support system when a child was abusing drugs twenty years ago. Usually, when parents failed to provide a safe environment, the grandparents would step up to the plate and take over. Now, even grandparents are also testing positive for drugs.
Medical Practitioners, Law Enforcement and Legislation
Watching this sad reality play out is why many individuals in law enforcement and legislation feel that they are losing the fight against the war on illegal drugs as a whole. There are many vulnerable people who want to escape their existing problems. Capitalizing on this need, drug dealers offer affordable drugs to individuals who see no other way out of their problems. The solution? Drug traffickers provide these individuals with easy access to various illegal substances to get a quick high.
Worse yet, people often shop from doctor to doctor to find one that will prescribe painkillers and anxiety meds with little questions asked and without careful monitoring of their history taking drugs. Like many other states around the country, Alabama is facing an upsurge of overdoses and deaths involving the non-medical use of prescription drugs. This abuse also includes many older adults.
To counteract the prescription drug abuse issue, a comprehensive plan must be set up to properly dispose of unneeded, unused or expired drugs promptly. This will further ensure that individuals will be prevented from having easy access to controlled substances. Through law enforcement efforts, the prevalence of doctor shopping and pill mills can be significantly reduced. According to the head of the Alabama District Attorneys Association, Randy Hillman, the prevention end and the enforcement end related to the war on drugs has to be done in such a way where the complex issues related to the underground drug scene in Alabama is seen from many different angles.
One aspect of substance abuse that is still overlooked is how doctors see their patients. The challenge for a physician practicing in a world full of prescription options must balance compassion for a patients’ pain without being an easy mark for addiction. This concern has led the state Department of Public Health to propose legislation to help the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners identify physicians who may be over-prescribing to their patients based on practice patterns.
Data shows that marijuana is the most commonly cited drug to be abused in Alabama, followed by cocaine and other opiates. However, prescription drugs may turn out to be the most immediate concern for officials to try to get a handle on since the way how doctors prescribe medicine has the potential of causing there patients to become addicted to various opiates.
Alabama officials continue to battle a strengthening underground drug culture. Rural counties in Alabama are not the only places where prescription drugs are being abused since authorities are feeling the effects of the deadly epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse going on throughout the state. The widely appealing newer drugs like Molly and bath salts, combined with the accelerated manufacture and distribution of drugs like marijuana and cocaine, give room for pause as to how the combined access of illicit and prescription drugs will affect future generations in Alabama for many years to come.
Randy Hillman summarizes by saying that The Alabama Task Force is needed more than ever to provide legislation with accurate drug data to pass laws that will help them to effectively win the war on drugs once and for all.
Alabama Drug Rehab Can Help
In the State of Alabama, the Mexican, Caribbean, and Colombian drug trafficking organizations have extensive distribution networks. Also throughout Alabama, the outlaw motorcycle gangs are supplying meth on a very limited basis causing the local production of methamphetamine to be on the rise. The Alabama Law Enforcement has reported that cocaine is becoming a significant threat just like methamphetamine.
Cocaine is being transported to Alabama from the Texas and Georgia areas. It will be sent in a powder form, and then a large portion of it will be converted into crack. Alabama is supplied mostly from the Houston, Texas area to their northern and southern regions. The state prison population in Alabama is over 25,000 with the probation population over 36,000. The National crime rate has ranked Alabama at 22 on the list of crime.
Heroin is on the increase in Alabama and can be found in some parts of Mobile and Birmingham and also in Auburn and Montgomery. Heroin is being found to be transported into the state of Alabama by private and commercial vehicles. Methamphetamine is identified by police as being the number one drug that is in Alabama. Meth is brought into the state by the Mexican DTOs from Mexico and Texas and has distribution points in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Club Drugs” are also on the rise in Alabama causing overdose, seizures, and arrest. Ecstasy, LSD, and Ketamine are most commonly found on the college campuses and at the venues.
Call Today To Speak To One Of Our Counselors About Alabama Drug Rehab
Alabama drug rehab facilities’ primary dedication is helping their patients become drug or alcohol-free and to lead a life that is substance abuse free even after their treatment. Alabama drug rehab facilities also help the families and friends cope.
Alabama drug rehabilitation facilities have grown over the years due to the high increase in drugs imported, used, and sold throughout the state. Alabama, known for being a southern state with peaceful, church-going people, has gained the title of having the 22nd spot for United States drug and crime rates. Drug trafficking from Mexico, Cuba, and the Caribbean has become a huge issue for Alabama locals.
The people that once lived a simple life without the worries of drugs have now become accustomed to the lifestyle of seeing drugs being sold on the streets, and also having the daily life of trying to resist temptation. For many, they fail to resist. Thousands of teens and adults in Alabama have become addicted to cocaine, marijuana, and heroin due to their easy accessibility because all these drugs have become local to Alabama, and they are grown, processed, and distributed throughout the state.
Alabama Drug Rehabilitation Facilities
Alabama drug rehabilitation facilities have become places to change the locals’ lives around before they ruin their lives on the fast paced life of drug trade and use. The crime rates have increased, and the state prison in Alabama has over 25,000 prisoners and 36,000 people on probation; a lot of these people were involved in drugs or managed to do a life-altering act while under the influence of drugs. State officials have realized how big a problem drugs and their distribution have become, so they have made the Alabama drug rehab facilities much more capable of handling any situation.
Contact An Alabama Drug Rehabilitation Clinic For Options
Many rehabilitation clinics in Alabama offer 12 step programs for people that simply need to heal themselves without any extra stages involved. Christian rehab programs, for people with Christian preferences, and cognitive treatment programs offer help for the client to improve mentally and physically.
All of these Alabama drug rehabilitation options can help the residents of Alabama have the chance of a future without drug trafficking or drug usage.