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Louisiana Drug Situation

Stopping the flow of illicit drugs into Louisiana is a seemingly insurmountable task. Every day, the state receives direct flights from countries in Central and South America. From San Salvador, El Salvador, Honduras and Columbia, many of these are continuing flights from other drug-source countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela.

The port of New Orleans is the fourth busiest port in the United States and Drug shipments occur not only in containerized shipping, but can be intermingled in bulk shipments of ores or food.

Much of the traffic coming into the port originates in Latin America, the Caribbean and other drug trafficking locations where drug shipments can be skillfully welded into the hulls of ships where they are extremely difficult to locate.

Cruise ships originate and return to the port of New Orleans daily and smugglers can pose as tourists while they convey contraband into and out of the US. And almost 9000 helicopter flights arrive in Louisiana daily from off-shore drilling platforms, providing relative anonymity and unlimited landing sites for shipments of cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

With nearly for hundred miles of coastline, effectively patrolling the shores of the Bayou State becomes an almost impossible task.

All this traffic in illegal drugs has a detrimental effect on the population to say the least. Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration in the United States and many of the inmates are jailed for drug related offenses.

But the effects of these circumstances go far beyond the drug smugglers and traffickers. The people of Louisiana are affected in many ways. Thousands of gang members in hundreds of street gangs are in on the action of drug use and distribution. Crips and Bloods are so prevalent that in some areas of Los Angeles, Shreveport is referred to as "Little Compton".

Illicit Drug Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older in Louisiana, by Substate Region: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2010, 2011, and 2012 NSDUHs (Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

Law enforcement officials found that the dramatic increases in heroin-related deaths in their individual areas was a new and disturbing trend happening across southeast Louisiana.

Louisiana State Government Agencies

Drug Abuse Facts

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