Massachusetts is ideally located in the NE, surrounded by a large costal area, a complex and vast array of interstates and vast expanse of land area. This geographical surrounding has led to infiltration by numerous drug trafficking cartels. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin continue to be the primary drugs of abuse in the State of Massachusetts. The drugs are smuggled in via the sea, road and air and the drug trade is primarily controlled by the Colombian and Dominican traffickers.
Cocaine is readily available throughout the state. The major route of smuggling is via New York City or directly from the Mexican-United States border, as well as from Florida and Georgia. Cocaine is transported in trucks, tractor trailers, and vehicles equipped with hidden compartments. The drug is also frequently shipped via the US postal service. Once the drug enters the state, the distribution is controlled by local gangs who collaborate with their counterparts. The majority of powder cocaine is converted to crack cocaine which continues to be a major problem in all the major cities in the State.
Once a widely used drug in Massachusetts, heroin is not as a big a problem as cocaine. It is readily available throughout the State. Most of the heroin is brought in from New York City mainly via the interstate. The drug is transported via public and privately operated automobiles equipped with hidden compartments. The drug is also smuggled in via the sea by the Columbian drug cartel.
The majority of the heroin drug trade is controlled by the Colombian and Dominican cartels. At the street level the drug distribution is done by numerous street gangs who remain very territorial and prone to violence. Because of the lucrative market in selling heroin, the purity of the products has not been maintained. Many drug cartels purposely contaminate the product with impurities to increase the profits.
Methamphetamine is available throughout the state and is mainly shipped in from California. The drug is brought in via the interstates and by the US postal service. The drug has not caught on as in other states. The strict surveillance by the law enforcement agencies has limited the development of methamphetamine laboratories. Methamphetamine is typically used by inpiduals in their 20's and 30's. The drug is also frequently abused by the homosexual community.
Clubs drugs have become the substances of abuse in the past decade. All types of club drugs are readily available in the State. The most frequently used is MDMA ( ecstasy), which is available in significant amounts. Most club drugs are easily available at rave parties, nightclubs, and college campuses across the state. Club drugs are usually smuggled into the State from New York and other neighboring states. The club drug trade is controlled by gangs.
Marijuana continues to be a commonly abused drug in the State and is easily available. Most of the marijuana is smuggled in from the Southern States via Mexico. Recently there has been a large influx of marijuana from Jamaica and Columbia. The more potent and pure form of marijuana, known as BC Bud, is also smuggled in from Canada. The majority of the marijuana is imported from the southwest border via aircraft, land vehicles, and delivery services. Every now and then, large quantities of marijuana are smuggled in from the West Indies. Locally grown marijuana is still available but because of the strict policing of the State forest lands, the production is limited.
Oxycodone products continue to be abused in the state. Percocet, Roxicet, Oxycontin, methadone, Vicodin, Xanax and Percodan are readily available in Massachusetts. OxyContin continues to be the preferred pharmaceutical drug of abuse and is widely available. These drugs are obtained using forged prescriptions, doctor shopping, pharmacy thefts and via the internet. Many pharmaceutical drugs are also smuggled in from Texas, California and New York. Because of the lucrative drug market, fake drugs have also infiltrated the market- so buyers beware.
DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. In addition DEA Regional Enforcement Teams have been established to augment existing DEA pision resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States.
The state of Massachusetts is a leader when it comes to the treatment of drug addicts. There are 356 substance abuse treatment centers in Massachusetts and there are twenty drug courts across the state. Money obtained from drug seizures has helped to establish drug rehabilitation centers throughout the state.
Unlike the West coast states, the eastern states have been regressing when it comes to drug reforms. Prisoners in the state have no voting right, despite the fact that more than 50% of the prison population is made of minorities. In addition, despite the fact that data shows that syringe access programs have proven to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C among injection drug users, and do not create an increase in injection drug users, Massachusetts still has strict barriers in its laws for prescribing syringes.