Wednesday December 19, 2018
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DEA Releases 2018 National Drug Threat AssessmentSalem-News.com
Controlled prescription drugs remain responsible for the largest number of overdose deaths of any illicit drug class.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon today announced results of the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, which outlines the threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs.
“This report underscores the scope and magnitude of the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States,” said Acting Administrator Dhillon.
“The information in the report represents data and critical intelligence from our law enforcement partners that was gathered over the past year.
"This report highlights the necessity of using all the tools at our disposal to fight this epidemic, and we must remain steadfast in our mission to combat all dangerous drugs of abuse.”
Among the key 2018 NDTA findings:
Illicit drugs, as well as the transnational and domestic criminal organizations that traffic them, continue to represent significant threats to public health, law enforcement, and national security in the United States.
In 2016, approximately 174 people died every day from drug poisoning, outnumbering deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide and homicide. The opioid threat – including controlled prescription drugs, fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, and heroin – has had a devastating effect on our country.
In 2017, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were involved in nearly 30,000 deaths, and from 2016-2017, Mexican heroin production grew by 37 percent.
Mexican cartels continue to make large quantities of cheap methamphetamine and deliver it to the United States through the Southern border. Seizures at the border increased from 8,900 pounds in 2010 to nearly 82,000 pounds thus far in 2018.
New enforcement priorities and programs implemented by the Justice Department and DEA will positively impact our communities and ultimately save American lives.
The Department of Justice has aggressively targeted the opioid crisis through robust manpower and funding, enabling federal law enforcement agencies like the DEA to conduct enforcement operations that target anyone violating the Controlled Substance Act.
In the past year, the Justice Department and DEA have engaged in new projects and initiatives to combat this scourge:
This month, the Justice Department announced new measures to dismantle transnational criminal organizations. The creation of a Transnational Organized Crime Task Force of prosecutors will coordinate the DOJ’s efforts to fight transnational organized crime.
The task force will focus on top transnational organized crime threats that include MS-13, Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, the Sinaloa Cartel, Clan del Golfo and Lebanese Hezbollah, a majority of which are included in DEA’s National Drug Threat Assessment.
The National Drug Threat Assessment provides a yearly assessment of the many challenges local communities face related to drug abuse and drug trafficking.
Highlights in the report include usage and trafficking trends for drugs such as prescription drugs, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana (cannabis) and the hundreds of synthetic drugs.
The assessment factors in information from many data sources such as drug seizures, drug purity, laboratory analyses, information on the involvement of organized criminal groups and data provided to DEA by state and local law enforcement agencies across the country.
The National Drug Threat Assessment can be accessed here.
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