methThe impact of methamphetamine, a leading drug threat to Oklahoma and the surrounding region, continues to deepen and is manifesting itself in a growing number of methamphetamine laboratory seizures, particularly in the Northeastern part of the state.  It is also manifesting in the increase in overdose deaths.

Some Background on Drugs in Oklahoma

Established in 1990, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (HIDTA) is a drug-prohibition enforcement program run by the United States ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy). Its purpose is to enhance and coordinate the drug-control efforts amongst local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies in an effort to reduce and/or eliminate drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of the US.

The term HIDTA(High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) also refers to each geographic location, usually a major city or border crossing, in which the drug-prohibition enforcement program has an established headquarters. These headquarters are established in locations considered to be major drug trafficking zones.  In designated HIDTA counties, the program provides participating agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug trafficking.

In Oklahoma, there are 6 counties named which are part of the North Texas HIDTA, including Cleveland, Comanche, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Sequoyah, and Tulsa counties.  The North Texas HIDTA also encompasses 15 northern Texas counties, most of which are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the largest metropolitan area in Texas.

Unfortunately for the state of Oklahoma, the North Texas HIDTA is a national distribution center for illicit drugs due to its transportation and financial infrastructures, and its proximity to Mexico. Ice methamphetamine is the principal drug threat.  Mexican DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organizations) are the primary

suppliers of wholesale quantities of methamphetamine, powder cocaine, commercial grade marijuana, and black tar heroin in the area. These DTOs use “cell heads” in both Dallas and Oklahoma City to manage the wholesale narcotic distribution within individual markets.

Current Drug-Use in Oklahoma: An Overview

According to statistics published in the recent White House state profile of drug control in the state of Oklahoma, the number of meth lab seizure incidents in the state of Oklahoma increased 440%, from 184 incidents in 2008 to 993incidents in 2011.

In the same report, 2009-2010, Oklahoma was identified as one of the top ten states for rates of drug use in the following categories:

  • Past month use of illicit drugs other than marijuana among persons age 12 or older
  • Past month use of illicit drugs other than marijuana among young adults age 18-25
  • Past year non-medical use of pain relievers among persons age 12 or older
  • Past year non-medical use of pain relievers among young adults age 18-25

Another key statistic in the report is that approximately 9.66 % of Oklahoma residents reported past month use of illicit drugs, while the national average was 8.82 %

Additionally, in 2009, the rate of drug-induced deaths in Oklahoma exceeded the national average.

[Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_oklahoma_0.pdf]

More on meth use:

Stopping the Meth Problem in Oklahoma

These are sobering statistics, and make it very real that Oklahoma and her people are at serious and ongoing risk from drug traffickers and the drugs they bring into the state.

At the same time, the state of Oklahoma is very fortunate to be home to Narconon Arrowhead, the state’s largest drug rehabilitation treatment center, and one which has its own statistics of  rehabilitation treatment success that shine like a ray of hope in the effort to curtail the ravages of drugs in Oklahoma.

Narconon Arrowhead is featured in the outcome results from the recently released 40-year compilation of the Narconon Program outcome studies.  The summary analyses of Narconon Arrowhead Routine Outcome Monitoring (ROM) Reports of 2006-2007, clearly show the success of the outcome of the center’s rehabilitation treatment program.  To give the reader an idea of center’s rehabilitation treatment outcome is the following excerpt summary from May, 2006:

Narconon Arrowhead staff contacted 80% of the 65 students who graduated between 7 and 8 months before the survey date.

Of these, for the last 30 days, 67.3% were reported completely drug-free including no alcohol use. An additional 15.4% had used no drug except social alcohol (that is, not drinking to intoxication.)

51.9% reported drug and alcohol free since graduating.

76.9% were gainfully employed or enrolled in school full time.

2 graduates had new arrests and spent time in jail, that is, 96.2% arrest-free, and 2 others were completing pre-Narconon program legal obligations.

Both the 2006 and 2007 outcome reports are available for viewing on Narconon International’s site at http://www.narconon.org/about-narconon/arrowhead-routine-outcome-monitoring.html.