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Nature and Extent of the Illicit Drug Problem in Missouri

NCJ Number
Date Published
58 pages
In analyzing the illicit drug problem in Missouri, this report focuses on illicit drug use, the impact of drug use, and the illegal drug industry in the State.
An assessment of the major types of illicit drugs currently used in the State addresses the use of marijuana, cocaine/crack, methamphetamine, heroin/opiates, hallucinogens, ecstasy, and other types of drugs. Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs in the State. In 2005, 29,551 clients were admitted to State-supported facilities for the use of 1 or more illicit drugs; 10,630 clients indicated marijuana contributed to their drug abuse problem. Marijuana is used by all demographic groups in the State. Marijuana is apparently a drug of choice by Missouri’s youth compared to other illicit drugs. Cocaine is the most abused drug in Missouri. Of all illicit drugs diagnosed in 2005, cocaine accounted for 33.6 percent of the total. It was the single most diagnosed drug associated with statewide hospital admissions in 2005. Illicit drug use has had a major impact on Missouri’s criminal justice system, since a substantial amount of resources has been expended on detection, apprehension, conviction, and incarceration of illicit drug abusers as well as those associated with illicit drug industries. Illicit drug use has also impacted the health care system. In 2005, 2,252 methamphetamine clandestine laboratory seizures or dump sites of chemicals, equipment, or glassware were reported in Missouri. Missouri is a conduit for the transportation of significant amounts of illicit drugs between out-State points of origin and destinations. Missouri’s central location in the Nation and extensive interstate roadway system increases its likelihood of being involved in illicit interstate drug trafficking. Sources of data for this report are described. 113 figures