2017 Drug Trends in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, the state capital of Oklahoma, is generally regarded as a quiet state. The latest reports issued by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, however, show that drugs are fast becoming a problem in the city. January 8, 2016 was proof of this when police discovered 3 pounds worth of crystal meth en route to its destination. Further search warrants turned up a house where $1.5 million worth of meth was in the process of being ‘cooked’ before distribution.
Drug Trafficking in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma’s Bureau of Narcotics believes that 90% of the drugs being sold in the city have been trafficked from South America. Supplier identification symbols have been found on several seized drug loads in and around the city.
Mexican drug cartels have devised new ways of avoiding detection when bringing drugs into the States. Instead of transporting cooked crystal meth directly from Mexico, traffickers are now opting to carry liquid meth hidden in car gas tanks, windshield wiper fluid areas and car batteries. Once the drugs are in the US, they are then cooked into ‘ice’ sold on the streets.
Drug Addiction in the City
An estimated 16,932 people enter a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City every year. Of these, 61.6% are male and 38.4% are female. Oklahoma City’s 176 drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities are at the disposal of these people.
In the last ten years, illicit drug use has been on the rise from 8% since 2006. The common age group that is being affected the most by the use of illicit drugs in the city is the 20-30 year age group. To blame for this increase have been pressures that include school loans, unemployment, and work-related stress.
17% of Oklahomans are on prescribed painkillers by doctors for medical purposes. However, one person out of every five in that 17% is bound to abuse the painkiller and use it for non-medical purposes. 72% of people addicted to prescription medication say they got it from a close friend or relative. Another 60% say the medication was given to them at no cost, and only 4% say they bought it from a street dealer.
Top Drugs in Oklahoma
Drug abuse is not just an Oklahoma problem, but has been classified as a national epidemic by several federal departments. Where opiates used to rule the roost as the drug of choice, police crack downs have put an end to that. However, the result of this is that another drug will always surface in place of the one eliminated. Since 2009, heroin has been the new kid on the block in Oklahoma City.
Apart from heroin, other drugs that have a substantial market base are crack cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines and prescription drugs.
Every year, close to 817 people are admitted to drug rehab centers across the city for ingesting cocaine or smoking the white powder.
With each year, about 22.1% of people who enter rehab for marijuana use are aged between 21 and 25. The statistics are 3,675 people for every year.
In Oklahoma City, ‘ice’ or crystal meth is one of the main drug problems. Meth poses a significant problem because of the trafficking network and distribution centers in the city. Oklahoma has become one of the preferred stops from Mexico, from where the drug can be offloaded, packaged and distribution started in the US. 2,965 people go into drug rehab every year seeking help to get off the addictive substance.
Oklahoma is not new to being in the news for all the wrong reasons when it comes to prescription drugs. Not too long ago, in 2008, the city was number one as the place where people abused pain relievers and used them for non-medical purposes. What was scary about this statistic was that it concerned people aged 12 and older. Oklahoma surpassed the country’s average rate for prescription drug abuse by 232%. 427 deaths in 2007 were caused by painkillers. This figure was significantly higher than that for heroin, cocaine, and meth combined.
Drug Death Toll in Oklahoma City
The number of people who died as a direct result of drug use was around 687 in 2007. Latest figures show that this trend is going up, seeing as 864 people died from overdose in 2014.
According to Oklahoma Drug Resources, the number of drug-induced deaths in the city is higher than the national average. Those who are most at risk of dying from unintentional drug poising are in the age range of 25 to 64.