January 7, 2014

Prescription Drug Abuse Up; Ecstasy Down

Prescription drug abuse continues to be the nation’s fastest growing drug problem, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s 2013 annual National Drug Threat Assessment report, released in November. The rate of prescription drug abuse is second only to abuse of marijuana.  Also, trafficking in heroin continues to increase, as well as the availability of methamphetamine and marijuana. The abuse of synthetic designer drugs has also emerged as a serious threat.

But the news is not all bad. Cocaine availability and abuse continued a five-year decline. And, survey, seizure, and treatment data suggest that the availability and abuse of Ecstasy “may have peaked.”

The report is based on (1) quantitative data from various sources, including seizures, arrests, and law enforcement agencies and (2) qualitative information, including information on smuggling and transportation trends.