Violence associated with the crack cocaine trade is high in Washington, D.C. Crack cocaine is primarily abused in low income, inner-city housing projects. Crack smoked in marijuana joints, typically among younger users, is occasionally reported. The predominant powder cocaine users are black individuals over the age of 30, who inject the drug. An emerging group of young adult (age 18-30) white males who snort the drug has also been reported. Cocaine injectors, who find it increasingly difficult to obtain powder cocaine, are shooting crack instead.
High purity snortable South American white heroin and Southeast Asian heroin are widely available in Washington, D.C. While low-purity heroin is purchased and injected by long-term users, high purity heroin is purchased and snorted by a predominantly younger and more suburban abuser population from Maryland and Virginia. Quinine is a new adulterant that is being used to increase the heroin "rush." Meat tenderizer and flour are additional heroin adulterants. Heroin users tend to be black men over the age of 18 who live in the central city and are of a low socio-economic status.
Marijuana is the most readily available, least expensive, and widely abused illicit drug in D.C. It is sometimes mixed with crack or PCP in blunts. Hydroponically grown marijuana is widely available in the state. Methamphetamine use and activity remains low, although it is an emerging drug that is becoming more readily available. MDMA, Ketamine, GHB, crystal methamphetamine and various other hallucinogenic and stimulant drugs have been in demand and are readily available in D.C. for almost a decade now.
MDMA abuse and distribution are at alarming levels in the state. Club owners, bartenders, and bouncers are increasingly allowing people to sell MDMA on their premises. Counterfeit MDMA tablets containing substances such as methamphetamine, ketamine, cocaine, or PCP are sometimes sold. GHB is sold at nightclubs, raves, bars, and universities.
The abuse and availability of OxyContin have declined. Hydromorphone and diverted OxyContin are sometimes used as heroin substitutes, while alprazolam, clonazepam, and other diverted pharmaceuticals are used either to boost or "take off the rough edges" from heroin. OxyContin is frequently sold outside heroin treatment facilities.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicate that 2.95% of Washington D.C. residents reported the past year dependence on illicit drugs. Around 23% of Washington, D.C. high school students surveyed in 2003 reported being current users of marijuana.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2003), around 57% of the Washington, D.C. population (aged 12 or older) reported the past month use of alcohol. More than 13% of the people in the age group of 12-17 years and above 67% in the age group of 18-25 years reported using alcohol the past month. Among people of the age group 26 years or older the rate is around 59%.
In the survey, more than 25% of Washington, D.C., people showed binge alcohol use and more than 45% 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 6%. In the state, 9.20% of the total population showed alcohol dependence or abuse in past year.
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