Rhode Island has had an illicit drug problem for years but recent data indicate that the problem is mainly limited to the inner cities. All types of illicit drugs are available in the State. The majority of drugs are smuggled in from Boston, New York, Canada and the Southern states. Cocaine, marijuana and heroin are the major drugs of abuse in the state. Many private users of illicit drugs often buy their drugs from out of state such as Massachusetts and New York. Rhode Island is also seen as a transshipment focus for smuggling drugs into Maine and Vermont.
Cocaine is widely available in Rhode Island. The majority of the drug is smuggled in from Mexico and Columbia either via the sea, air or land. Once the cocaine is brought in to the State, it is converted into crack cocaine and sold on the street. The major drug traffickers appear to be the Mexicans and Columbians. Recent seizures indicate that users of cocaine are often the upper class Americans and females. Cocaine is also smuggled in from New York, Boston, Georgia and Chicago.
Heroin has always been widely available in the state and is easily bought in most towns and cities. The purity of heroin has been excellent in the last decade and with the cheaper prices, it has a fair share of the illicit drug market in Rhode Island. The majority of heroin in Rhode Island is from Mexico but in recent years the SE Asian variety is also available. The drug trade is also most completely under the control of Columbians, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans.
Unlike other states, methamphetamine is not widely used in Rhode Island. Some believe that it is only a matter of time. The major users of methamphetamine are homosexuals and college students.
There has been a major increase in the use of club drugs in the state of Rhode Island. All types of club drugs including MDMA, GHB, PCP, LSD and Ketamine are available at night parties and rave parties. The majority of colleges and universities have a moderate supply of club drugs. The majority of club drugs are smuggled in from New York, Canada, California and Texas. The club drug trade is basically controlled by Asian gangs. Recent seizures indicate the drugs are increasingly being smuggled in via the US parcel post services.
The abuse of prescription drugs continues to rise at an exponential rate. The most commonly abused pharmaceutical drugs including oxycontin, hydrocodone, methadone, diazepam, Lortab and Xanax. Oxycontin continues the number one prescription drug abused in the state. These drugs are primarily obtained via prescription forgeries, “doctor shopping”, pharmacy break-ins and via the internet. Some of the pharmaceutical drugs are brought into Rhode Island from Mexico and Southwestern Border cities. Numerous pain management clinics have opened in every major city in the State and pose an enormous threat to the communities. These pain management clinics do injustice to patients by continually prescribing narcotics to addicts.
Marijuana is readily available throughout Rhode Island. The majority of the drug is smuggled in from the southern states. Marijuana is smuggled in large amounts in cars, vans, campers and trucks all of which have hidden compartments. The majority of the marijuana trade is controlled by the Mexicans and the migrant workers. In addition, limited amount of locally grown marijuana is also available for personal use. Marijuana is cultivated both indoors and outdoors in both private and public property. The locally made marijuana is more potent and pure than the Mexican variety and is increasingly being shipped across into Colorado and Illinois. In addition, the most potent form of marijuana called BC Bud and is smuggled in from Canada.
To counteract the drug problem 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 developed 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. Because drug traffickers operating in Rhode Island exploit every possible avenue to smuggle drugs into the Providence Resident Office closely observes every major highway, airline carrier, postal service and port of entry.
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