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2016 Drug Trends in New Orleans

Nicknamed the Big Easy, the city of New Orleans has become well known because of the series of hurricanes that constantly bombard and flood the area. The area is also infamous for being one of the drug capitals of the world. In fact, a 2009 Forbes article placed New Orleans high on the list of top drug cities of the world alongside cities like Baltimore and San Francisco.

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, some New Orleans residents turned to the streets to seek comfort. Officials reported a surge in the number of people who went out looking for drugs, cocaine in particular, to cope with their depression and stress related to the incident. It has been observed that residents have kept up this coping mechanism every time the city floods. The same trend was seen when Hurricane Humberto hit in 2007, Hurricane Gustav in 2008, Hurricane Ida in 2009, and Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

New Orleans drug addicts range from the homeless, strippers, to regular folk. Bourbon Street is infamous for being the go-to place for a ‘quick fix’. The bars and strip clubs along the street make the drug lifestyle very accessible to those frequenting these places. It’s also a place known for robberies and other violent crimes. The area around Bourbon Street is often targeted by the DEA for searches and arrests.

An overview of the Drug Problem in New Orleans:

  • Close to half of all homicide offenders (49%) had been previously arrested for a drug offense.
  • 2,000 adolescents in New Orleans are classified as having a substance abuse disorder
  • 9% of New Orleans high school students claim to have been drunk at some point in 2015, with 6% of 10th graders saying they have dealt drugs before.
  • 78% of all drug overdoses in New Orleans are linked to the non-medical use of opiates.
  • 63% of accident deaths are linked to alcohol.

Young Adults and Violent Drug Crimes in New Orleans

Heroin is leading the pack as one of New Orleans most sought after drugs. Dope follows hot on the heels of heroin followed by crack, cocaine, MDMA and prescription drugs. In a sad story that sent shock waves across Australia and the US, two Australian students aged 21 and 23, who were trying to buy drugs in New Orleans Bourbon area were shot earlier in 2016.

In November 2015, two 22-year olds, Samuel Van and Amy Herrera, were arrested for possession of 3 pounds worth of weed, 3 packets of cocaine, 100 pills of Molly, 30 tablets of Tramadol, 28 grams worth of MDMA, and a revolver. The pair was charged with illegal drug activity.

New Orleans Most Popular Drugs – Heroin & Weed


Heroin use is on the rise in New Orleans and so are the accompanying fatalities and casualties. This is largely due to the fact that heroin is being mixed with a deadlier and more potent drug – fentanyl. Most drug dealers are mixing fentanyl into their heroin doses to trick people into believing that they are buying a higher grade of heroin. The unsuspecting users, because of fentanyl’s more powerful effects, gladly pay more for the drugs they believe are higher grade heroin.

New Orleans averages 2 heroin overdose cases in the emergency room per day, but since the emergence of fentanyl, the cases have gone up to at least five ER heroin overdose cases. University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, Peter DeBlieux, explained in an interview, that in January 2016, the hospital’s emergency room was busy because of 14 people who had been brought in for heroin overdose. That’s not all. DeBlieux went on to say that since then, the hospital has been receiving more than 30 such cases, and that’s a worrying figure.

As a way of combating this growing heroin epidemic, public health officials have decided to make the common heroin reversal substance – naloxone (Narcan), readily available from dispensaries without need for a prescription from a doctor. To show just how many people are purchasing and using naloxone, in January 2015, 78 patients required 110 naloxone dosages to regain consciousness. In March 2016, the number was staggering. 197 naloxone doses had to be used to treat 119 overdose cases.


Shwag sells for $7 – $10 per eighth, kind buds at $25/gram and dro at $60/eighth. High quality marijuana for an ounce will cost you $226. Medium quality hashish will set you back $249 for an ounce. Carrying more than 60 lbs. worth of marijuana in New Orleans carries a 6 month jail term and a fine of $500 maximum. If this isn’t your first time, you can receive 5 years of jail time and a fine worth $2,500 maximum.

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