Rhode Island Drug Rehab

Do You Need Rhode Island Drug Rehab?

Cocaine is the number one drug in Rhode Island and Rhode Island drug rehab centers are stepping up to cure addiction. With the purity of this drug ranging from 55 to 95 percent. The traffickers use Rhode Island as a transshipment site for the distribution through out the New England area. The seizure report for Rhode Island shows for 2008 cocaine seizures at 8.9 kgs., heroin at 8.1 kgs., meth at 0.0 and marijuana at 25.9 kgs.

Cocaine has seen somewhat of a drop in the availability over the last couple of years making the price of this drug increase at a steady rate. The cocaine is brought into Rhode Island from the Mexican border. The means of transporting this drug is by hidden compartments in tractor-trailer rigs traveling the interstate highways.

Heroin is widespread throughout Rhode Island. Its purity when seized is found to be anywhere from 15 to 75 percent pure. It is transported by courier in trains, airplanes, and automobiles. The Dominican traffickers control the heroin, its purity level at sale, and its distribution into the state of Rhode Island.

Marijuana in Rhode Island is widespread throughout the state. The availability is also widespread with large quantities being available at all times. Mexican marijuana is the prominent type found, however it is now being seen that foreign and domestic types are being imported into the State.

Illicit and Prescription Drug Problem in Rhode Island

The number of illicit and prescription drugs abused is steadily on the rise in Rhode Island. The state is ranked number 13 with the highest overdose mortality in 2013. Rhode Island experiences 15.5 drug related fatalities per 100,000 residents in a calendar year. That is more than the number of automobile related deaths per year in the state. With the number of deaths doubled since 1999, Rhode Island has experienced a steady rise in prescription drug fatalities, yet not enough to outnumber heroin and cocaine combined. But deaths are not the only issue related to the rising drug problem. The state has also experienced a loss in worker productivity, increase in medical costs and an increase in criminal justice costs and activities. The question is, why?

Rhode Island has seen a rapid rise in prescription medication abuse. With new, more powerful medications on the market to help ease pain and ailments of patients, people are finding a way to obtain these and use them in any other way than typically prescribed, strictly for the feeling they cause. One half of all first time users start with prescription drug misuse. First time nonmedical use of prescription drug for recreational purposes is approximately the same as the number of first time users of marijuana. Prescription pain relievers that are being used are opioids such as sedatives, stimulants and tranquilizers. One in ten people have admitted to having an addiction to prescription pain relief medications.

There is a huge surge in prescription medication abuse in teenagers; 400% increase in those ages 12 and older. Prescription pain relievers are the second most abused drugs in young people, falling in behind marijuana. Teenagers think prescription medications are safer than illegal street drugs, even if a physician does not prescribe them. One half of teenagers do not believe prescription medications are addictive. Teenagers are finding it easier to obtain these medications;

• 18% have received them through a prescription from their physician
• 5% have purchased them from a drug dealer or a stranger
• Less than one half have purchased them on the internet
• Stealing them from the medicine cabinets of family and friends

But prescription drug abuse is not limited to the young. Approximately two million 50+ year olds have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the last year.

According to the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rhode Island ranked as the third highest state for nonmedical use of prescription medications. In 2013, 1,400 residents of Rhode Island obtained over five prescriptions for pain relief medications and had them filled in over five different pharmacies. These numbers suggest there is substance abuse occurring with these prescriptions in the way they are obtained and filled at the pharmacy.

The State of Rhode Island Department of Health has released the following data concerning fatal drug overdoses including illicit drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, and prescription medications, such as Vicodin and Oxycodone, either by themselves or in combination with other substances from 2009 to 2012.

2009:
• Illicit fatal drug overdoses: 24
• Prescription fatal drug overdoses: 64
• Illicit fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 7
• Prescription fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 20
• Illicit, alcohol and prescription drug overdoses: 10
• Illicit and prescription drug overdoses: 12

2010:
• Illicit fatal drug overdoses: 21
• Prescription fatal drug overdoses: 56
• Illicit fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 13
• Prescription fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 26
• Illicit, alcohol and prescription drug overdoses: 4
• Illicit and prescription drug overdoses: 32

2011:
• Illicit fatal drug overdoses: 30
• Prescription fatal drug overdoses: 68
• Illicit fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 13
• Prescription fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 25
• Illicit, alcohol and prescription drug overdoses: 6
• Illicit and prescription drug overdoses: 35

2012:
• Illicit fatal drug overdoses: 50
• Prescription fatal drug overdoses: 59
• Illicit fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 13
• Prescription fatal drug and alcohol overdoses: 26
• Illicit, alcohol and prescription drug overdoses: 6
• Illicit and prescription drug overdoses: 28

In addition, these figures are broken down by age and gender collectively for the years 2009 through 2012.

Males:
• 16-19 years old: 8
• 20-29 years old: 66
• 30-39 years old: 80
• 40-49 years old: 126
• 50-59 years old: 118
• 60-69 years old: 29
• 70 years old: 1

Females:
• 16-19 years old: 4
• 20-29 years old: 22
• 30-39 years old: 44
• 40-49 years old: 65
• 50-59 years old: 69
• 60-69 years old: 14
• 70 years old: 0

All fatal overdose fatalities continue to increase over the years and remain the leading cause of accidental deaths in the state of Rhode Island. The states’ Medical Examiner’s Office estimates there are approximately 4 overdose deaths per week. Alcohol is a common factor to accidental overdose deaths in both illicit and prescription medications.

The trend of substance abuse, addiction and fatalities shows that illicit drugs are still the leader in overdose related deaths; however, prescription medications are still occurring at alarming rates, particularly with the youth. The rate of accidental overdose deaths from illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin has almost doubled from 2009 to 2012. While the number of deaths does not discriminate in age or gender, the majority of deaths from drug overdose were in people between the ages of 40 and 60 with men having twice as many accidental deaths than women.

In January 2014, there was a spike in drug related deaths in Rhode Island. During January 1 through January 13, there were 22 total deaths from drug overdoses. Thirteen of the 22 deaths were from fentanyl. Fentanyl is a prescription pain relief medication that is rarely prescribed as an outpatient pain control medication. Fentanyl is 80 times more powerful than morphine.

According to law enforcement, the majority of illicit and prescription drug distribution and abuse is occurring in and around the urban areas such as Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick and Woonsocket, where collectively 40% of Rhode Island’s population can be found. Drug distribution in rural areas is reported as rare by the state police. Rural areas are known for growing cannabis (marijuana) and other drug related criminal activity. The difference between urban and rural areas is due to transportation.

Public transportation makes it easy for people to move between Rhode Island, New York City and Boston. But public transportation is not the biggest problem. Other modes of transportation have been found to be the most problematic.

Private and Commercial Vehicles:
According to the state police, private and commercial vehicles are commonly used to move drugs in and out of the state. The most common major routes are Interstate 95, Interstate 195 and Interstate 295, while the most common secondary routes are U.S. Route 1, U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 44. Frequently, drugs are mixed in with produce or other items such as furniture to keep them from being easily detected. Mexican criminal groups are known to use this method to move drugs from Mexico to Rhode Island. In 2000 (the most recent data), there was 44, 431 metric tons of cargo transported from Mexico to Rhode Island in tractor trailers.

Aircraft
T. F. Green International Airport is Warwick is the only international airport in the state. Passenger volume increased from 4.6 million in 1998 to 5.5 million in 2001. Federal law enforcement has seized approximately 58 kilograms of marijuana and 1 kilogram of cocaine from commercial flights during 2001. There are also five public airports and numerous private airports and landing strings throughout Rhode Island.

Maritime Vessels
There are three primary seaports in Rhode Island with Providence being one of them. Crew members aboard commercial fishing boats have been found transporting heroin.

It is important to understand what criminal groups are controlling the transportation and distribution into Rhode Island. Below is a breakdown of these groups and what they are controlling:

• Dominican Criminal Group
o Wholesaler of heroin and the powdered form of cocaine
o Wholesaler and retailer of marijuana, but does not control the market
o Retailer of heroin and the powered form of cocaine

• Columbian Criminal Group
o Wholesaler and retailer of heroin and the powered form of cocaine

• Jamaican Criminal Group
o Wholesaler and retailer of marijuana, but does not control the market

• Mexican Criminal Group
o Wholesaler and retailer of marijuana, but does not control the market

• Caucasian Criminal Groups and Caucasian Local Independent Groups
o Dominates the market as wholesaler of MDMA, GHB and its analogs, LSD and diverted pharmaceuticals
o Retailer of MDMA, GHB and its analogs, LSD and diverted pharmaceuticals
o Wholesaler and retailer of marijuana, but does not control the market
o Retailer of powered cocaine
o Retailer of crack cocaine
o Retailer of limited amounts of methamphetamine

• African American Criminal Groups
o Retailer of significant amounts of heroin
o Retailer of crack cocaine

• Hispanic Criminal Groups
o Retailer of significant amounts of heroin
o Wholesaler and retailer of marijuana, but does not control the market
o Retailer of crack cocaine

• Gangs and Local Independent Dealers
o Retailer of significant amounts of heroin
o Wholesaler and retailer of marijuana, but does not control the market
o Retailer of powered cocaine
o Retailer of crack cocaine

The majority of distributors of drugs come from the local street gangs. Members of the African American and Hispanic street gangs are mainly found in the larger cities. In general, these are local gangs and are not connected or affiliated with the larger, nationally recognized gangs found throughout the United States. These gangs can be found distributing in motels, shopping centers, restaurants and other public locations. They are known not only for drug distribution but also for the violent crimes they commit, some in relation to the sale of drugs.

Gangs in Rhode Island that identify themselves as Latin Kings (also known as the Almighty Latin Kings Nation, ALKN) or Blood and Crips are not associated with the nationally known gangs that go by those names. There is no known connection between those with the same or similar names in Rhode Island and those known elsewhere in the country, including Chicago and the Northeastern part of the country.

Rhode Island has not seen an increase or decrease in the amounts of drug related arrests over the years. Most of the drug related arrests are related to violent crimes committed by the local gangs who are protecting their area from other gangs or related to the sale of drugs. They are also related to crimes frequently committed by drug abusers, typically is residential areas in order to support the drug abusers’ addiction.

The percentage of Rhode Island federal sentences is very similar to those nationwide. In 2001, the United States Sentencing Commission reported that Rhode Island only accounted for 39.2 percent of all federal sentences while the rest of the nation accounted for 41.2 percent nationally. Sixty-five percent of the drug related sentencing in Rhode Island was related to powered or crack cocaine. Here is a breakdown of the federal drug related sentencing in 2001 comparing Rhode Island to the rest of the United States:

• All Drugs
o Rhode Island – 39.2%
o United States – 41.2%

• Crack Cocaine
o Rhode Island – 40%
o United States – 20.4%

• Heroin
o Rhode Island – 15%
o United States – 7.2%

• Marijuana
o Rhode Island – 17.5%
o United States – 32.8%

• Methamphetamine
o Rhode Island – 0%
o United States – 14%

• Other Drugs
o Rhode Island – 2.5%
o United States – 3.2%

• Powered Cocaine
o Rhode Island – 25%
o United States – 22.1%

The above statistics only relate to the number of federal sentencing in Rhode Island and the United States. It does not take in account to any local sentencing for drug related charges. There were 4,394 drug related arrests in Rhode Island during 2001, which accounted for only 10% of the arrests in the entire state for the year.

Illicit and prescription medications are being abused in multiple ways including intravenously. An intravenous injection of substances leads to sharing of needles resulting in an increase of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS) and Hepatitis C. Other health concerns include long and short term consequences of substance abuse such as fatalities in cardio-vascular disease, liver disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Rhode Island is the smallest state, geographically speaking, with population growth at the second smallest in the nation. As the rise of substance abuse increase in Rhode Island, so does the unemployment rate. In January 2014, the state had the highest unemployment rate in the country, affecting college graduates and those over fifty years of age the hardest. With high unemployment rates, the residents of Rhode Island can also experience high mental health issues such as depression. The combination of the two can lead to an increase of substance abuse and the distribution of such in order to cope and survive.

With the state in so much economical and substance abuse problems, it is surprising to know that Governor Chafee is considering legalizing and regulating marijuana. Although legalizing and regulating marijuana would serve as a potential tax revenue source, the question still remains as if this could be the answer for a state that is experiencing a rise in substance abuse issues such as substance abuse related fatalities. Governor Chafee has stated he understands the failures the state has experienced with the war on drugs and further has realized prohibition of marijuana has also been a long term failure. Currently only approximately 7,000 patients who are approved by the state are allowed to legally buy and use marijuana in the state.

Rhode Island began participating in the Prescription Monitor Program in 2012. This program helps monitor people who are obtaining controlled substances from multiple physicians and pharmacies. Although this program is proven to help reduce and control the number of residents who abuse prescription medications, only 20% of physicians and/or prescribers of controlled substances actually use the Prescription Monitor Program, resulting in the availability to remain for addicts.

Substance abuse in Rhode Island is quickly becoming an epidemic. The state has one of the highest number of illicit and prescription drug abuse statistics in the United States. Ranking as number 13 in the Nation, Rhode Island experiences a higher than normal rate of unintentional substance overdose mortality rates. With the number of deaths doubling in a three year period and major drug trafficking occurring, Rhode Island has made the availability of illicit and prescription drug abuse easily accessible. Illicit drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants while prescription medications include pain relievers such as morphine, opioids, Vicodin, Oxycodone and fentanyl. Teens abusing prescription medications are on a rise because they feel they are much safer than the street illicit drugs. Teens are obtaining these medications entirely too easily including from various resources including the medicine cabinets of their family members. Statistics show that substance abuse in the state is not limited to age or gender groups.

Successful Recovery

If you or a loved one is ready to seek help for a problem with addiction to alcohol or drugs, our licensed addiction counselors can help you find a successful treatment program at a Rhode Island drug rehab that is right for you. With the right guidance you can learn to take control of your recovery and find the path to a sober lifestyle.

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