Arizona Addiction Treatment

Arizona addiction treatmentDuring 2006, there were 24,360 admissions to alcohol and drug treatment centers in Arizona. There were 28,309 such treatment admissions during 2005. An additional 124,000 (2.53%) Arizona citizens reported needing but not receiving treatment for illicit drug use in Arizona within the past year.

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Arizona Drug Addiction

Arizona is directly north of the Mexican State of Sonora, a major trafficker stronghold which has experienced a significant increase in violence associated with drug smuggling over the past year. Along the 350 mile Arizona/Mexico border are three principal ports of entry (Nogales, Douglas, and San Luis) and three secondary ports of entry (Lukeville, Sasabe, and Naco). Most of the border area consists of inhospitable desert and steep mountain ranges, which are sparsely populated, infrequently patrolled by law enforcement, and ideal for drug smuggling. Arizona serves primarily as a drug importation and transshipment state. Drug smuggling and transportation are dominated by major Mexican trafficking organizations. These groups are poly-drug organizations smuggling cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and precursor chemicals.

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Arizona Drug Information

The Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas are major transshipment points for cocaine distribution from Arizona throughout the United States. Cocaine is shipped from Colombia by air, land and sea to controlled regions in Mexico, where it is then transported to staging areas near the Arizona/Mexico border. Transportation groups aligned with the major Mexican cartels smuggle the cocaine into Arizona typically utilizing commercial trucks, private vehicles, animal caravans and backpackers. Multi-ton quantities of cocaine are smuggled across the border on a regular basis through heavily trafficked Ports of Entry, as well as between these Ports. It is common practice for the cocaine to be sent across the border in 20-30 kilogram loads at a time to minimize the loss if a vehicle is searched by law enforcement. The cocaine is usually wrapped in cellophane and electrical tape or duct tape, and secreted in elaborate compartments built into the vehicles, as well as in natural voids in the vehicles. Numerous seizures have occurred during the past two years in which methamphetamine has co-mingled with loads of cocaine. Traffickers utilize the vast irregular terrain of southern Arizona and lack of adequate border surveillance by law enforcement in this area to their advantage in the movement of cocaine to staging areas.

Methadone clinics estimate that over 50 percent of the new admissions for drug addiction treatment in the Phoenix metropolitan area are attributed to pharmaceutical controlled substances. The Phoenix Division continues to find that Vicodin, Lortab and other hydrocodone products; Percocet; OxyContin and other oxycodone products; benzodiazepines; and codeine products are the most abused pharmaceutical controlled substances in Arizona. The use of Soma in combination with other analgesic controlled substances, Ultram (tramadol) and Nubain, continue to be highly abused prescription-only substances. The primary methods of diversion are prescription fraud through forgeries, bogus call-ins, and doctor-shoppers. The Phoenix Division continues to investigate thefts in-transit to pharmacies and distributors, as well as reports of thefts by employees and robberies of pharmacies. Prescription controlled drugs from Mexico are frequently smuggled into Arizona, and internet shipments of controlled substances from foreign source websites are on-going. Internet websites with prescriptions shipped from U.S. pharmacies are also being investigated by the Phoenix Diversion Group.

DEA Offices & Telephone Nos:
Flagstaff: 928-226-1659
Lake Havasu: 928-855-9496
Nogales: 520-281-1727
Phoenix: 602-664-5600
Sierra Vista: 520-458-3691
Tucson: 520-573-5500
Yuma: 928-344-9550

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