Facts from 2008 shows that the illicit drug market in Oregon is dominated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Oregon serves as a trans-shipment spot for controlled substances that are smuggled in from Mexico to Washington and Canada. Trends recently also show that Oregon is becoming a trans-shipment spot for substances smuggled from Mexico to various states east of Oregon such as Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, and New York.
The supply of methamphetamine and cocaine were disrupted in 2007 as well as doubling the prices of the drugs in Oregon because of enforcement operations in the United States and Mexico. In Oregon, the drug trafficking organizations participate in money laundering, using a variety of ways to legitimize and reposition illicit proceeds.
Cocaine can be found throughout Oregon. Crack cocaine can be found in some urban areas, but the powder form of cocaine is most prevalent. Cocaine is a very powerful and addictive stimulant that affects the brain. A form of cocaine that has been processed to form a substance that is smoked is called crack.
Mexican black tar heroin is the most common form of heroin found in Oregon. Throughout Oregon, the distribution and transportation of brown powdered heroin and Mexican black tar are controlled mainly by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Produced in Mexico, Black tar heroin is transported from the Southwest Border states directly to Oregon.
In the state of Oregon, methamphetamine is one of the most widely abused controlled substances and it is extremely easy to find. Powder meth in the past was the most common form. Due to apprehending the drug, ‘ice’ (or crystal) meth appears to be the most widely abused. Crystal meth is a more potent form of methamphetamine.
Several laws were enacted by Oregon legislators directed at reducing methamphetamine availability and local production. In July 2006, products that contained ephendrine and pseudoephedrine became Schedule III drugs. Both ephendrine and pseudoephedrine are precursor chemicals used in methamphetamine manufacturing.
The most abused illegal drug in Oregon is marijuana. It is also extremely available. Trafficking, abuse, and cultivation are a critical threat. Medical marijuana initiatives within the state have created more challenges as local producers use these laws to hide their illegal activity. Large quantities are produced locally but Mexico and Canada are also a source for marijuana coming into Oregon. Thousands of plants have been found in large indoor and outdoor growing operations on private, state, and forest lands. Large outdoor grows of marijuana have become much more common and they are operated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
Prescription drugs are the second most abused drugs by youths in the United States. The primary ways of obtaining legitimate prescription drugs continues to be illegal dispensing and prescribing by physicians, illegal distribution by pharmacists, prescription forgery, doctor shopping, and drug thefts from pharmacies, nursing homes, and hospitals. Pharmacy burglaries are prevalent throughout the state.
Other pharmaceutical drugs that are a concern due to abuse and trafficking are oxycodone such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan) Hydrocodone ( Vicodin, Lortab) and anabolic steroids are also a concern. Methadone use has increased dramatically.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration