Crack cocaine is easily available in the economically low areas of all major cities in New York. It's also freely available in some suburban and semi-rural areas. Cocaine is occasionally a cause of violence in upstate cities. Prices are typically higher in upstate cities than in New York City, while purity levels are generally higher in New York City.
South American heroin is the type most commonly abused in New York. However, Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin are also easily obtainable. Availability of Mexican heroin is very limited in the state. Retail heroin prices are usually higher in Upstate New York than in New York City. Heroin purity levels in the state are among the highest in the nation.
Marijuana is the most widely available and commonly abused drug in New York. Methamphetamine trafficking and abuse in the state is a less serious problem in comparison with other drugs. However, there are indicators that the problem is increasing. In the New York City area, methamphetamine market is mainly for crystal methamphetamine from the United States' West Coast. Though its use is not widespread, it is increasing among some groups, for example, gays. The upstate market is mainly methamphetamine powder distributed by local underground labs, which are becoming common in the state.
MDMA is extensively available and abused at nightclubs, raves, techno parties, and on college campuses all over New York. GHB is also available at clubs. LSD is readily obtainable at concerts, raves, and techno parties in New York. Ketamine presents a low threat to the state but its availability is increasing at raves. Diverted pharmaceuticals are easily available in New York.
Around 37% of New York high school students surveyed in 2003, reported using marijuana at least once in their life.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2003), around 55% of the New York population (aged 12 or older) reported the past month use of alcohol. More than 19% of the people in the age group of 12-17 years and more than 64% in the age group of 18-25 years reported using alcohol the past month. Among the people of 26 years or older, the rate is around 58%.
In the survey, more than 24% of the New York people showed binge alcohol use and above 41% reported perceptions of great risk of having five or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage once or twice a week. In the age group of 12-17, past month binge alcohol use is around 11%. In the state, 7.15% of the total population showed alcohol dependence or abuse in past year.
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