North Carolina Addiction Treatment

North Carolina addiction treatmentDuring 2006, there were 20,822 admissions to alcohol and drug treatment centers in North Carolina. There were 17,882 such treatment admissions during 2005. In 2004, there were 24,305 admissions to drug treatment programs in the state. Approximately 192,000 North Carolina citizens reported needing but not receiving treatment for illicit drug use within the past year.

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North Carolina Drug Addiction

North Carolina is considered a secondary regional distribution hub for most illicit drugs. Intelligence indicates a direct correlation between the increase in drug trafficking and the influx of illegal aliens and foreign nationals into the state. This reality is aided by the extensive highway and interstate infrastructure that connects North Carolina to northern Georgia and other states along the Eastern Seaboard. North Carolina has one of the fastest growing populations: It is currently the 10th most populated state in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population at nearly 9.1 million during 2007 and projected that by 2025 the state will have 11.4 million residents, ranking it as the 8th largest state in the nation. One of the factors fueling the population growth is the rate of migration of Spanish-speaking, specifically Mexican, nationals to the state.

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North Carolina Drug Information

Clandestine production of methamphetamine was a statewide epidemic; however, seizures stabilized by the end of 2005. Though there was a very small increase in the number of clandestine lab seizures over the last year, the amount of meth seizures were significantly decreased. This was due to coordinated efforts of law enforcement operations and sales regulation of precursor chemicals such as pseudoephedrine, iodine, and anhydrous ammonia, necessary for the production of methamphetamine. Although domestic methamphetamine production is waning, Mexican-manufactured methamphetamine, primarily in the crystalline form (Ice), is readily available in the large metropolitan centers of the state, and increasingly in the rural communities. Most methamphetamine in North Carolina is imported in multi-pound quantities from Mexico through the southwest border states, but a significant amount also comes from Mexican sources of supply based in the Atlanta metropolitan/northern Georgia area. Mexican traffickers rely on private and commercial vehicles and express parcel services to convey their product. Mexican-manufactured methamphetamine and Ice concealment often mimics those methods used for cocaine. Over the last few years, law enforcement statistics have fluctuated in the number of clandestine laboratories seized in the state. A decrease in lab seizures was noted between 2006 and 2007; due to the regulations stated above. During 2008, a small increase was observed (see chart above.); this is attributed to lab operators finding new sources of precursors to replace the regulated and monitored chemicals previously used.

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The illegal distribution and abuse of controlled pharmaceuticals is widespread throughout North Carolina. Their appeal is simply due to the relative ease of acquisition and use. The diversion of prescription opiates, such as methadone, morphine, codeine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, continues to be a problem in the largest metropolitan centers of the state. The 2007 North Carolina State Risk Behavior Survey indicated that 25 percent of high school students in Western North Carolina reported having used prescription drugs recreationally at least once, compared with only 17 percent of high school students in Central and Eastern North Carolina. Prescription drugs most often cited were OxyContin®, Percocet®, Xanax®, and Adderall®. The Asheville-Buncombe Drug Commission attributes some of this regional difference to a larger over-65 resident population on Medicare being prescribed prescription opiates/analgesics. Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax® and Valium®, were also identified as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals. Primary methods of diversion being reported are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, "doctor shopping," forged prescriptions, employee theft, and the Internet.

DEA Offices & Telephone Nos:
Charlotte: 704-770-2050
Greensboro: 336-547-4210
Raleigh: 919-790-3004
Wilmington: 910-815-4513

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