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Louisiana’s location makes it a center for drug smuggling and trafficking. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the state has many waterways and hidden coastlines which make it easier for drugs to come into the state. The coastline has a huge canal linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The state’s proximity to Texas and Mississippi, combined with continued drug seizures, mean that Louisiana is a challenge to law enforcement.
Crack cocaine dominates the drug scene in Louisiana. The availability of the drug has made abuse and addiction a problem. The state has experienced an increase in violent crimes and social ills as a result of this fact. Most of the powdered cocaine in Louisiana is converted into crack cocaine before hitting the streets.
Heroin is rarely abused in Louisiana. New Orleans has the biggest problem with heroin abuse. The lack of a pure product, contamination of the product, cost and better law enforcement means that heroin is a small threat in Louisiana.
Methamphetamine is the top abused drug in Louisiana. In many parts of the state, it has replaced cocaine and the drug of choice. Production and distribution of methamphetamine is linked to violent crimes in the state, as well as environmental and safety hazards. In Louisiana, secret laboratories cook methamphetamine but because of a lack of basic ingredients, production is small and locally concentrated.
Club drug use has remained constant in Louisiana over the past ten years. These drugs – MDMA (ecstasy), Ketamine (special K), Rohypnol, LSD and GHB – are abused by students at clubs, raves and parties. There is money in the selling of counterfeit pills.
Marijuana is the most popular abused drug in Louisiana. It is grown throughout the state and because of the state’s geography, marijuana plots are hard to find.
Prescription drug abuse in Louisiana continues to increase at an alarming rate, mimicking the trend across the country. Oxycontin, hydrocodone and Xanax are the three most commonly abused drugs. “Doctor shopping”, pharmacy robberies, prescription forgeries and internet purchases are the primary ways these drugs are obtained. Pain management clinics also provide a ready flow of these drugs into the community. Steroid use and abuse has also become a problem in Louisiana.
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