The Current Need for Washington Drug Rehab
The state of Washington is known to have many drug related problems throughout the state and needs more dedicated Washington drug rehab centers. This state is home to our nation’s capital, but crack cocaine still has its way of making Washington have a high rate of violence. The open markets in Washington keep dealers well provided with cocaine so they can have plenty to sell to near by states such as Maryland and even Virginia. Washington does not have as many addicts as some of the states that are around it but it does have suppliers of heroin located all around the cities. Heroin is placed in small bags and distributed. It has a number of street names that abusers will go by.
Methamphetamine is a limited drug in Washington. The Meth problem in Washington is mostly at raves and seen at nightclubs around the state. Also Meth is popular in the gay communities that are in the cities of Washington. The state of California mainly supplies Washington with Methamphetamine. Receiving this particular drug through overnight and regular delivery mail.
The major abused drug of choice in Washington is Marijuana. This drug has a wide availability all over the state and has a huge amount of it to go around. Individuals can buy a small nickel size bag or can buy up to a hundred pounds at a time. Marijuana is used for “blunts” and is used very regularly by individuals in the state. Open air markets are very likely to sell marijuana along with crack and many other drugs.
Another drug that Washington has problems with is prescription drugs. The main one is Oxycontin along with products that have Hydrocodone in them. The biggest way this drug is being brought into the Washington area is by individuals going to numerous doctors to get a prescription and even going as far as forging prescriptions so they can continue their addiction.
As the twelfth largest state in the US, Washington boasts a population of 6.7 million. Its residents are mainly centered in western half of the state and in counties along Interstate 5. The largest county, is King County, which house Washington’s largest city, Seattle. About half of the population lives in the Seattle metropolitan area.
In 2008, Washington was 76% white, with Hispanics being the largest minority group at 9.3%, and Asiatic groups coming in at a close second at 6.9%. Only 3.6% of the population was black, with other races in even smaller proportions.
In 2008, the unemployment rate 5.2% fell well below the national average of 9%, with King County having just 3.9%. Higher unemployment rates were experienced in the northeastern rural areas. The state poverty level in 2008 was 10.2%, below the national average of 12.5%.
In short, Washington state is a small, predominately white region with low poverty and unemployment. But its drug use is rampant.
Overall Drug Statistics
While marijuana has been recently legalized for recreational use in adults, in 2008, the Washington Department of Health reported that 8.3% of eighth graders admitted to using marijuana, as did 19% of tenth graders, and 23% of high school seniors.
In addition, 3% of eighth graders admitted to using other drugs, 7% of tenth graders and 8% of seniors.
In 2008, between 9%-13% of residents twelve or older admit to using drugs in the past year. This is the highest category in the United States, running well above the national average of 8%.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration cites that 4% of the Washington population reported using a non-marijuana drug in the last month, compared to the national average of 3.5%.
It was one of the top ten states for drug use and marijuana was the highest. Following was prescription drug abuse, with stimulants such a methamphetamine coming it at second. Opiates, such as heroine follow and reports also indicate a heavy use of cocaine.
Fourteen Washington counties have been federally identified as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. These are:
Methamphetamine is a stimulant effecting the central nervous system. Some of its street names include ice, speed, chalk, crystal, glass, crank, and yellow bam. It can be in a pill or yellow or crystal powder.
In 2009, methamphetamine in Washington state cost about $80-$150 a gram, with the average price at $104. In liquid form, the price ranges from $750-$3,000 an ounce, with the average cost at $1,323 per ounce.
Methamphetamine has been identified as the largest illicit drug threat in Washington.
Pierce County, Washington used to be known as the methamphetamine capital of the United States. The region consistently held the highest number of meth incidents since 1996.
Meth use in Pierce County rose consistently over the late 1990’s, and by 2000, was 200% higher than all other counties combined. The region’s meth use has been slowly falling and in 2008, was only slightly higher than King County. This has to do with Mexican cartel and Canadian narcotics operations seizing the industry.
Arguably the most recognizable drug, cannabis is a plant that is usually developed into a form called marijuana, although other derivative drugs such as hash are also created from the cannabis plant. Marijuana can also be mixed with other drugs to make a more potent cigarette or solution.
In 2009, the price of marijuana in Washington ranged from $10-$40 a gram, with the average price of $18. Marijuana sold for $125-$320 an ounce, with the average price at $250 per once.
In November 2012, Washington state passed Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana for adults. The law went into effect December 2013, but will take a year to iron out of the details. Marijuana retailers are expected to go into effect in the spring of 2014.
Provisions of I-502:
- Users must be above 21 years of age
- Marijuana consumption may not occur in view of the general public
- It may not be transported out of state
- Driving under the influence of marijuana is still prohibited
- It is against the law to sell or produce marijuana without a license.
- Legal marijuana must be one ounce or less, or up to 16 ounces of a liquid marijuana infused product.
Minors in possession of marijuana will be prosecuted the same way as alcohol infractions.
In 2010, the Washington State Health Board reported that 23% of high school seniors admit to having used marijuana in the last thirty days. This up from the national average of 20%.
Cocaine is a stimulant that originate from coca leaves found most abundantly in South America. Cocaine is usually processed into a fine white powder, or mixed with an ammonia and baking soda solution to harden into crystals called crack. Common street names for cocaine include coke, flake, snow or dust. Forms of cocaine can be used for medical purposes as a local anesthetic.
King County, which includes the Seattle area, has the highest rates of cocaine use in the state. It is significantly higher than even Pierce County.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug, created from morphine, derived from the poppy plant. It is typically injected with a syringe, although in powder form it can be snorted or smoked. Some street names include, H, Horse, Smack, Junk, and Diesel.
In June 2013, the University of Washington reported an increase in heroin in Washington state and reports an increase in heroine related death in King County.
In 2009, the price for heroin in Washington ranged from $40-$100 a gram, with the average price at about $73 for a gram. In liquid form, it cost about $320-$1800 an ounce, with the average price at $628.
In 2007, the use of heroin and other opiates was highest in West Balance. The counties of Snohomish, King and North Sound follow in that order. East Balance and Yakima-Tri Cities had the lowest levels of heroin/opiate use.
Prescription pills are by far the most common drug in Washington. But as the state cracks down on pharmaceutical regulations, pills are getting harder to obtain. In 2011, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported an increase in heroin use as an alternative.
Some researchers have noticed that heroin has moved into suburbs, much the way crystal meth did in the late 1990’s.
Prescription Drug Abuse
According to the National Office of Drug Control Policy, abuse of prescription drugs is growing faster than any other drug use, and has classified it as an epidemic.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington has the highest numbers of prescription drug abuse in the country.
Oklahoma is the highest with 6.72 out of every ten people abusing drugs. Washington comes in at number six, with 6.13 out of every ten people abusing drugs.
The Washington State University Alcohol Drug Counseling, Assessment and Prevention Services (ADCAPS) reports that in teens, abuse of prescription drugs has the second highest use, right behind marijuana.
Out of every twenty high school seniors, one has tried OxyContin.
ADCAP reports three most abused categories of prescription drugs.
These are medicines intended to provide pain relief. But when injected, swallowed, snorted, chewed or smoked, these can produce a high. The most commonly used are OxyContin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Demerol and Lomotil. Others include: codeine, fentanyl, morphine and opium. Each of these have a variety of street names.
Intended to treat Attention Deficity Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy or obesity, these pills can be injected, swallowed, smoked or snorted to produce a high. The most common are Dexedrine, Ritalin and over the counter amphetamines.
Depressants, also called barbiturates, these pills are intended to treat anxiety and other nervous system issues. But they can be injected, swallowed or snorted to produce a high. The most common are Nembutal, Valium, and Xanax.
In 2007, Snohomish County was known to have the highest rate of barbiturate use, although North Sound comes out about the same. This was a significant change as King County held the highest use from 1990, until 2007.
In 2008, it was reported that 12% of Washington high school seniors admitted to using prescription drugs to get high in the past 30 days. The same survey found 9.5% of tenth graders, and only 4.3% of eighth graders. Among all these students, most got them from a friend of acquaintance, while 21% abused their own prescription. Taking them from their home or someone else home without permission came in at 15% and only 11% got them from a family member.
Drug Related Deaths in Washington
The Center for Disease and Prevention reported that n the year 2007, Washington had 1,003 people die as a consequence of using drugs. Seattle-King County held 274 of these.
This is in comparison to 649 people statewide who died in traffic accidents, and 548 who died by firearm. The national average of drug-induced deaths is 12.7 deaths per 100,000 people. Washington’s rate is 15.5 drug-induced deaths per 100,000 people. Washington has continued to exceed the national averages of drug-induced deaths for over a decade.
The Washington State Department of Health reports that drug-induced deaths have doubled since 1997.
The department believes this largely due to abuse of prescription opiates, which has been steadily rising in King County—particularly Seattle.
The Washington Department of Health reports illicit drugs like heroine, meth and cocaine have caused a lesser percentage of deaths in recent years.
The majority of drug-induced deaths are related to prescription drug abuse. In most cases, these pills are of mixed variety, making it difficult to pinpoint a specific drug as the cause of death.
Driving Under the Influence
In 2009, Washington law enforcement officials averaged 552 DUI arrests per 100,000 people. This was higher than the national average of 488 arrests per 100,000 people. DUI arrests comprised 15% of the state’s arrests in 2009.
In 2009, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs reported 23,379 total arrests for drug violations. This makes an average of 350 arrests per 100,000 people, actually below the national average of 600 arrests per 100,000 people.
Washington state has 113 Walgreen’s pharmacies. In 2009, 45 of them were robbed. In almost all of the robberies, the offender specifically asked for OxyContin.
During this same time period, Illinois experienced one robbery for it 548 Walrgreen’s stores, and Texas had nine for its 628 stores.
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs reported that in 2009, there were 14.4 prostitution arrests for every 100,000 people. This is well below the national average of 24.7 arrests for every 100,000 people. A large number of these arrests were confirmed to be using illegal drugs.
Property Crime in Washington has been significantly higher than the national average over the last decade. It has gone declined in recent years, but still remains high at 3,653 per 100,000 people. The national average is 3,212 per 100,000 people. About 74% of those arrested tested positive for drugs.
The Washington State Department of Ecology reports that the number methamphetamine labs and dump sights have decreased 90% since 2001. In 2009, there where known to be 186 labs and dump sites. However, law enforcement officials are wary of declaring a decrease in drug use. They believe the drugs are produced elsewhere, particularly Canada and Mexico, and then sold as finished products. The documented laboratories in the state are actually large facilities.
In 2009, the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration reported that 66% of youth entering the corrections system came with substance abuse problems. Drug offenses accounted for 20% adult convictions that year.
The state’s drug issues have been linked to a number of societal ills. Some of them include violent crime like homicide, suicide and aggravated assault. Drug use also be linked with family problems such as divorce, teen pregnancy, poverty, domestic violence and broken homes. Not only has this cost the state in crime, but many users do not have health insurance and are admitted to the public health system for drug-induced injuries and problems. In 2005, substance abuse related spending overall totaled about $3.2 billion of the state’s budget. and 85% of that went to causes to deal with drug problems, rather than prevention.
The Washington State Statistical Analysis Center concludes that not all areas of Washington experience the same amount of drug use. Areas in the southwest region tend to have more drug use than others.
This appears as well in their crime statistics. This could have to do with the high unemployment and poverty rates in the area. Southwest Washington has in the past thrived on its logging industry. With recent changes in logging legislative, many workers have been laid off. With fewer resources, and opportunities for advancement, people turn to drugs.
Seattle and Portland, well known for their high urban lifestyle and cosmopolitan scene, also see a majority of drug use. The area further feeds drug routes along Interstate 5, and into Pierce County. Fewer Methamphetamine labs exists in Pierce County now, but this has to do more with production moving to Mexico. Technologically sophisticated gangs in Canada have also seized much drug production from Pierce County, Washington, and feed it into Seattle’s metro scene, and let it filter to the other cities.
The state is instituting a number of drug initiatives to reduce these problems.
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