Delaware has the unfortunate status of being one of the major drug trafficking and distribution hubs in the US for the North East, and it serves as an entry point into drugs for the west and northwest. As a result, the rate of drug use and addiction has been steadily rising. What is unusual is that the prominent drug used in Delaware is one that is not even found in most other states. While there alcohol, heroin and cocaine are all represented in Delaware, it is the use of the pharmaceutical drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, which has the highest rate of abuse. The demographic for drug use in the state is also much younger than in other areas.
What drugs are most commonly abused in Delaware?
MDMA, or Ecstasy is the drug that is causing the most concern in Delaware. While there are other powerful substances moving through the state, it is the rising popularity of MDMA, its abuse, and the way it is often used to enable date rape that makes is a growing threat. Ecstasy is popular with teens and the young adult crowd. It has the reputation as being a “safe club drug. Given the closeness of Delaware to several major nightclub environments, the drug is easily found and inexpensive. Taken in a pill form, it does not carry with it the stigma of drugs you would snort, smoke or inject. The rising use of MDMA in date rape is also a concern. In large doses it can cause amnesia, it can also cause a psychotic break, stroke and/or heart failure. While the use of Ecstasy is on the rise, it is not often combined with other drugs, even alcohol, as it is a drug that is dehydrating most users stick with energy drinks or water. Many users also believe this is one of the reasons that Ecstasy is a safer and healthier choice of recreational drug.
Where are the drugs coming from?
A little known fact about Delaware is that it lies on a major trafficking route, which makes it a hub for drug distribution into the North East. It is also in close proximity to several strong night club and entertainment areas in New Jersey and New York. This is one of the reasons that MDMA is so popular here. Ecstasy enhances lights and sound which can make it an ideal high in night clubs. There is a wide variety of drug types in the area do to the hub nature of the drug trafficking coming in. Drugs come in over the road, by boat and by plane which makes it hard to intercept the deliveries.
What about illegal prescription drug use?
While there is a percentage of illegal pharmaceutical drug use in Delaware it does not claim as high a percentage of users as does the synthetics and other drugs available. There is a growing rate of heroin use in the state which leads officials to believe that there is a risk for a rise in opioid abuse rates. It is not quite clear whether heroin is the precursor to rising pharmaceutical drug abuse, or if it comes after. Heroin provides a similar experience for the user but is much less expensive.
Drug use continues to rise in Delaware at an alarming rate. The burden on the community to respond to drug related incidences, behavior associated with drug use and medical crises that has resulted from it is a significant drain on resources. The fact that Delaware remains a major hub for distribution makes it harder to target the area with drug education as the drugs change as the market demand changes. The proximity of major areas of nightclub cultures is also contributing to a steady increase in the use, and abuse, of MDMA. Unlike other state, Delaware’s population isn’t getting older – it is getting younger. The influx of youth is sustaining a drug culture that otherwise would age out. There has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking drug treatment, but it has not reached a point where those in recovery are in such great numbers that they are influencing their communities. More treatment options are becoming available to handle the increased demand for recovery programs making it easier to get away from drug addiction in Delaware than ever before.