Washington Drug Addiction
In 2007, approximately 38,000 people entered some form of substance abuse treatment in Washington State. Approximately 32,000 people of the people admitted were admitted for some sort of drug abuse. Many drugs have a significant presence in Washington state. Heroin, cocaine, and marijuana have long been major drugs, and all three of these have a strong presence in Washington. Meth is the relative newcomer, growing rapidly since it first began getting popular in the 1980s and 1990s. This article will not cover marijuana as it tends to be a much different issue than more destructive addictions such as heroin, cocaine, and meth addiction.
Heroin Addiction in Washington
Heroin abuse is a problem in Washington, but perhaps not as big a one as other parts of the nation. 2,495 people were admitted for heroin use in the state of Washington, making up ~6.5% of people admitted for substance abuse well below the national average of 13.6%. Heroin abuse is not concentrated in one particular area of Washington and is abused throughout the state.
Cocaine Addiction in Washington
2,163 people (5.7% of those admitted ) were admitted for smoking crack and another 763 (3.6%) went into treatment for snorting cocaine. Compared with the national averages of 9.4% and 3.7% this puts Washington’s cocaine abuse below the national average. However, cocaine is still available throughout Washington and is usually smuggled into Washington from Mexico, through California. Within Washington, crack cocaine is most commonly used in lower income urban areas while snorted cocaine is consumed by a more middle-class demographics.
Meth Addiction in Washington
In the state of Washington, meth / methamphetamine use is well above national averages. 6,378 people (16.7%) were admitted into facilities for amphetamine abuse, over twice the national average of 7.7%. Amphetamine abuse is still not as common in Washington as neighboring Oregon or California, but it is a relatively large problem within the state. Interestingly, since 2003 meth lab incidents in Washington have declined from 1,018 in 2003 to 122 in 2007. This indicates law enforcement’s crackdown on domestic meth labs. As local meth labs have been shut down, most of the drugs have been supplied by meth traffickers from Mexico. Meth also tends to be less of an urban drug, with most of the meth userbase located outside of major cities.