"The overall drug threat to the New England (NE) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) region remained fairly consistent during the past year. Opioid abuse--primarily of South American heroin and controlled prescription opioids--remains the most significant drug threat to the NE HIDTA region, according to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and public health officials, and there are no signs that this problem will abate in the near term. Treatment admission rates for heroin and prescription opioid pain relievers in the region are among the highest in the nation, and the demand for these services continues to outstrip availability. Moreover, controlled prescription opioid abusers are fueling the heroin abuse problem in the NE HIDTA region as a rising number of them switch to heroin because of its wide availability, higher potency, and greater affordability. Cocaine distribution and abuse had a negative impact on the region in 2010, contributing to high levels of crime and straining healthcare systems The threat posed to the region by marijuana rose during 2010, with cultivation of the drug increasing substantially. Many cannabis growers are exploiting state medical marijuana laws to cultivate illicit crops under the guise of the laws. Violent street gangs, which are active in each state in the region, are interwoven through the en¬tire spectrum of illicit drug trafficking. Law enforcement reporting indicates that gang members increasingly obtain and use firearms to protect themselves and their drug distribution territories."
United States. Dept. of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/