Drug Trends Change - Part 1of Series

By: Danielle Morgan Email
By: Danielle Morgan Email

They have names like "Brown Powder" or "Mexican Black Tar" but these are just some of the emerging drugs a new report says are being brought in from Mexico.

The National Drug Intelligence Center says more drugs are crossing the border and making their way to southeastern states and some to small communities.

WYMT takes you straight to a Kentucky State Police Crime Lab to find out exactly what's being turned in as evidence in drug-related cases in our region.

"Most of the time it's Alprazalam, OxyCodone," Chemist Jamie Hibbard said.

Prescription pain killers continue to exceed that of all other abused drugs, except marijuana, according to the report and is still the largest portion of cases here.

"As far as anything else we get cocaine and meth," Hibbard said.

Right now the southeast Kentucky lab averages one hundred cases a month, but the one drug they're seeing much less of is meth.

"I think I saw three exhibits last month come through that was meth, as opposed to, this time last year we'd probably see 20 to 30 maybe," Mike Smith said.

The drug threat assessment found a sharp decrease nationwide, but with a boom in meth and the purer form, ice, being shipped in from Mexico.

Epidemiologists at the Kentucky All Scheduled Prescription Electronic Reporting System, known as FASPER, analyzed the number of diverted pain pills reaching east Kentucky from 2003 to 2005 and found a big reduction where Operation UNITE is present.

"If you look in the heart of our region, in the Kentucky River area, they've seen a 9.2 percent decrease," Karen Engle said.

It sounds good, but the report says abusers are instead, substituting with drugs like heroin the good news, is crime labs in southeast Kentucky are not finding that to be true here.


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