This 2009 report assesses the illicit drug situation in the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) including the 14 counties in Washington State.
Widespread trafficking and abuse of methamphetamine are the greatest threats to the Northwest HIDTA region, straining local law enforcement, public health, and social service resources. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are the primary source of this illicit drug. Marijuana is the most widely available drug, with large outdoor cannabis growing operations in remote locations throughout the region. Cocaine is reported to be readily available; heroin is used primarily in the Seattle area, and the distribution and abuse of ecstasy is a growing concern. Mexican DTOs dominate the drug trafficking network, and street gangs dominate the drug trade at the retail level, where they are a growing concern to law enforcement. A large percentage of the violent crime in the region is associated with drug trafficking and abuse, particularly methamphetamine. Data from the National Drug Threat Survey (NDTS) 2009 indicate that 33 of 46 State and local law enforcement respondents report that methamphetamine is the drug that most contributes to violent crime in their area, and is a growing factor in domestic violence and child neglect. Tables, figures, and list of sources
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