The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary earlier this morning. The annual assessment details the threats posed by drug use, drug trafficking, and relevant criminal organizations.
According to the report, more Americans die from drug overdose than from motor vehicle or firearm-related accidents annually. This year, the report identifies controlled prescription drugs (CPDs) as the most significant drug abuse threat to the US, citing that CPD overdose currently causes more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. Other high-threat substances addressed by the report include heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and cocaine.
Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) continue to dominate the American drug market, while Asian and Colombian TCOs control a smaller share of the market. Roughly ten cartels claim the entirety of Mexico and the US, smuggling illicit substances into and cash out of the US through their networks.
Combating the illicit financing methods employed by these organizations poses a significant challenge to law enforcement agencies. From money laundering to bulk cash smuggling and selling their wares on the dark web, TCOs are increasingly creative in their efforts to avoid detection. Nevertheless, federal and local law enforcement officals reportedly seized approximately $382.2 million dollars in drug proceeds in 2014.
The 2015 Assessment includes detailed maps and graphics of drug use and TCOs in the US. For more resources on gangs, border security, or the DEA, visit the Homeland Security Digital Library (some resources may require HSDL login).
Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/2015-national-drug-threat-assessment-summary