Heroin, Cocaine HCl, crack Cocaine, and Marijuana remained the most available, popular, used, and trafficked illegal drugs in Pennsylvania.
OxyContin availability was reported to be decreasing, yet it remained popular in some areas, especially in northeastern Pennsylvania. The diversion of Methamphetamine remained a problem in western Pennsylvania, while significant investigations of internet pharmacies continued.
Methamphetamine and crystal Methamphetamine abuse and trafficking remained a significant problem, as evidenced by an increase in new crystal Methamphetamine investigations and a substantial increase in overall Methamphetamine seizures from fiscal year 2004 to present.Heroin, Cocaine, and crack Cocaine trafficking organizations remained the Philadelphia Division’s top enforcement priorities, especially as intelligence indicated that these organizations continue to infiltrate the smaller cities and rural areas in the division.
Cocaine: Cocaine remained one of the drugs of choice, as its overall popularity has not diminished greatly over the last few years. The use of Cocaine, which is cooked into crack Cocaine in most cases, remained a significant concern in suburban and rural communities outside of Philadelphia. Reports indicated that Cocaine continued to be snorted and used in combination with Heroin and/or alcohol. Reports also indicated that admissions for Cocaine treatment have been overtaken by admissions for Heroin treatment in several areas of central Pennsylvania.
New York City remained the primary source area for Cocaine distributed in Pennsylvania. Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Dominican groups based in New York and in Philadelphia provided wholesale quantities of Cocaine HCl to lower-level Hispanic and African-American groups that distributed it in the inner city neighborhoods and suburbs of Philadelphia, as well as in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.
Heroin: South American Heroin remained widely available in Pennsylvania, as distributors continued to target new customers in smaller towns and rural areas. Although the greater Philadelphia area is generally considered a consumer Heroin market, North Philadelphia’s street corner distribution sites also attracted distributors from locales throughout Pennsylvania. Heroin is also distributed to a lesser extent in West and South Philadelphia. There are also several Dominican sources of supply concentrated in Northeast Philadelphia. The relocation of trafficking organizations resulted in the increased availability of Heroin in locations once thought to be exempt from the problems associated with Heroin distribution and use.
Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is available in varying quantities in Pennsylvania with consumption concentrated in the Philadelphia area. Although the availability of Methamphetamine in Pennsylvania is relatively low compared to the midwestern and western United States, investigations and reports from state and local law enforcement confirm the eastward movement of Methamphetamine production into Pennsylvania. In particular, rural areas, such as the northwestern counties and Pocono Mountain have been infiltrated with small, yet dangerous, Methamphetamine laboratories, as numerous seizures have documented by law enforcement in the last few years.
Marijuana: Marijuana remained abundantly available in both wholesale and retail quantities in Pennsylvania. In western Pennsylvania, Marijuana abundance was attributed to the continued use of commercial shipping companies to transport it as well as the existence of growing operations in the area. The investigation of an Asian trafficking organization revealed that high-grade “BC Bud” Marijuana was also available in the Philadelphia area.
Source areas of Marijuana distributed in Pennsylvania include the US southwest border region, namely Arizona, Texas, California, and Mexico, as well as New York City (especially northeast PA). Intelligence from the Harrisburg area has indicated an increase in encounters with individuals transporting Marijuana into Pennsylvania from California and Arizona in personal vehicles. Various means of transport were employed by traffickers transporting large quantities of Marijuana into Pennsylvania, including tractor-trailers, passenger vehicles, passenger luggage on commercial aircraft, buses, and trains, the US Postal Service, and freight and parcel shipping companies (e.g. UPS, FedEx).
Prescription Drugs: Current investigations indicate that diversion of hydrocodone products such as Vicodin, Oxycodone products such as OxyContin, fentanyl (such as Actiq), and pseudoephedrine continues to be a problem in Pennsylvania. Primary methods of diversion being reported are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, “doctor shopping” (going to a number of doctors to obtain prescriptions for a controlled pharmaceutical), forged prescriptions, and the Internet. Benzodiazepines such as diazepam and alprazolam (both the generic formulation and brand name Xanax) were also identified as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Pennsylvania. This is ample reason for Pennsylvania drug rehab and Pennsylvania drug detox attention state wide immediately.
Pennsylvania is experiencing an increase in drug use and abuse. The prescription drug problem in the United States has become a real epidemic. Instead of treating drug addicts like criminals we believe people suffering from pain pill addiction, alcoholism and other drug addictions should have a comfortable drug detox to ensure long lasting sobriety and clean time. Addiction to pain killers can be one of the hardest addictions to treat and we believe that inpatient drug detox is the most effective way of dealing with prescription drug withdrawal.