Drug addiction in Louisiana

All throughout history, people institutions all over the world have made several attempts to help drug addicts and alcoholics get over their addiction. Today, there are thousands of programs in the United States that deal with helping people who have personal or social with drugs. Typically, rehabilitation centers and drug treatment programs operate on the belief that there must be certain philosophical or social factors that cause the addictive behavior to emerge, and by changing an addicts beliefs and ideologies, they can end this addictive behavior. Still, there are many people who maintain that addiction is actually the result of weak character, bad personal choices, irreligious behavior and anti-social behaviorisms.

Although these perspectives are not entirely useless, they still do not solve many of our deep-rooted problems that stem from human emotions and motivations. People don’t just go about destroying their lives, families, relationships and careers because they are mingling with the wrong set of people, or because they want to do so. Apparently, there is always a psychological or motivational drive, which happens to be stronger than our conscious concerns, is at work and this fuels our addictive behavior. Addiction is an unconscious, impulsive behavior. Addicts are people who have somehow lost control of their lives. Though these people have tried very hard to stop using and abusing these external substances, they have not managed to do so. Addiction is an accelerating disease.

Because of its ideal geographical location, Louisiana is one of the most important transshipping points for illegal substances and drugs. Colombian and Mexican drug trafficking organizations use Louisiana’s wide spread seaports, coastline, interstate highways and even remote airstrips to traffic drugs into the United States, and of course Louisiana.

The Top 8 cities in Louisiana for drug trafficking are: Bossier City, Lake Charles, Shreveport, New Orleans, Monroe, Kenner, Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

Retail and wholesale drug distributors take full advantage of the close proximity of Houston, which is also a major drug center, to make several trips to purchase drugs. In larger towns and cities, drugs like Cocaine, Marijuana and Heroin are generally sold to street gangs. These gangs are now steadily moving into the rural communities of Louisiana where independent and local dealers also service the drug market. Most of the bigger cities in Louisiana are experiencing a dramatic increase in drug activity and street gang activity.

Some of the popular drugs available in Louisiana are:

Cocaine – The abuse and distribution of crack cocaine and the popularity and easy availability of powdered cocaine are the major drug threats within the state. The harmful effects of this drug are seen in growing numbers and have led to an increase in rehabilitation program admissions, increased prison population, and even an all time high for violent crime rates in Louisiana. Powdered cocaine is generally converted into crack cocaine in Louisiana and studies have shown an increase in the amount of crack cocaine being brought into Louisiana from Texas.

Heroin – Though it is primarily confined to New Orleans, the heroin threat in Louisiana has also reached alarmingly high levels of abuse. The primary heroin users are the inner-city drug users and those individuals in their late teens to mid twenties from the upper middle class. Law enforcement officials have reported that heroin abusers and distributors are now struggling to create and define territories, leading to the sudden increase in the violent crimes rate of Louisiana.

Methamphetamine – The distribution and abuse of methamphetamines has increased in central and northern Louisiana, and this rise is partially influenced by Arkansas where the production of methamphetamines has reached epidemic levels. Methamphetamines are so popular because of their lower costs and because they also provide longer euphoric effects than cocaine.

Marijuana – The most commonly distributed and abused drug in the world, Marijuana is brought in from Dallas and Houston after it is smuggled across the South West border and distributed within Louisiana. Cannabis is also grown in Louisiana by using traditional methods as well as the hydroponic method.

Club Drugs – The distribution and abuse of dangerous drugs like MDMA, LSD, Ketamine and GHB has also increased in Louisiana. Painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin and Dilaudid are the most common. Reports have shown that the abuse of these prescription pills have reached alarming levels, and have even led to a large number of deaths by overdose.

These days, Drug trafficking organizations use modern navigation and communication devices for counterintelligence and counter-surveillance capabilities. These devices help maritime smugglers conduct their drug trafficking activities. Louisiana’s popularity as a party destination and tourist and convention hub also contributes to drug distribution and abuse. The burgeoning casino and gaming industry also contributes to drug distribution.

Louisiana has by far the highest incarceration rate in the United States, and most of the prisoners are incarcerated for drug-related offenses. In October 2000, the total prison population in Louisiana was 35,998. More than 30% of these prisoners are incarcerated for drug crimes.

The number of deaths caused due to drugs and health care statistics provide mixed signals about the condition of the drug problem in Louisiana. However, efforts are being taken to curb this problem.

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Information on this page last updated on 09/28/2007