The primary drugs that promote problems in Kentucky are Marijuana, methamphetamine, perted pharmaceutical drugs, and cocaine. Southeastern Kentucky is where domestically grown marijuana comes from. The commonwealth ranks Kentucky as one of the top marijuana producing states. Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are prescription drugs and as of 2009 were one of the largest drug problems in southeastern Kentucky. Methamphetamine manufacturing activity has decreased in Kentucky, but trafficking of methamphetamine remains because Caucasians are distributing “Ice” methamphetamine supplied from Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs).
Cocaine is readily available in central and southeastern Kentucky. Mexican traffickers are the primary source of cocaine from the southwest Border in the Midwest and Southeast. This drug is a powerful psycho stimulant and is found in the leaves of the shrub Erythroxylon coca. The powdered hydrochloride salt form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water then injected. The term ‘crack’ refers to the sound produced by the rock as it is heated.
The presence of heroin in Kentucky was limited but Mexican Black Tar Heroin rose in the Louisville area in 2009. This drug is an opiate that’s synthesized from morphine, a natural substance that is extracted from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin is usually a brown or white powder or as a sticky black substance known as Black Tar Heroin.
Methamphetamine continues to be widely available in central and southeastern Kentucky. Primary suppliers of this drug are Mexican drug trafficking organizations. These drugs are central nervous system stimulants and are similar to amphetamines. Methamphetamines are white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that dissolves in water or alcohol very easily. This drug is taken orally, snorting the power, by needle, or by smoking.
Prescription drugs, especially hydrocodone and oxycodone are the largest drug problems in southeastern Kentucky. Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin are the ones being abused the most. This is due to pharmacy theft, doctor shopping, prescription fraud, and purchasing large quantities from unscrupulous internet pharmacies.
Club drugs are limited to cities where colleges and universities are located. Ketamine, MDMA, GHB, and LSD are steadily available and are primarily used by teenagers and young adults where the colleges and universities are.
Marijuana is domestically grown in Kentucky. In 2007 Kentucky ranked second in total domestic marijuana production. Soil and climate conditions are just right for cannabis cultivation in eastern Kentucky. The national forest lands are remote, accessible, and have ideal soil for cultivating cannabis. Marijuana plots are found usually in deforested areas in many locations from the bottom-land to the hillsides and the tops of mountains.