2016 National Drug Threat Assessment
November 01, 2016
The 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment is a comprehensive strategic assessment of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit and prescription drugs. This report combines federal, state, and local law enforcement reporting; public health data; news reports; and intelligence from other government agencies to provide a coordinated and balanced approach to determining which substances represent the greatest drug threat to the United States. Over the past 10 years, the drug landscape in the United States has shifted, with the tripartite opioid threat (controlled prescription drugs, fentanyl, and heroin) having risen to epidemic levels, impacting significant portions of the United States. While the current opioid crisis has deservedly garnered significant attention, the methamphetamine threat has remained prevalent; the cocaine threat was in a state of steady decline, but appears to be rebounding; and due in part to the national discussion surrounding legalization efforts, the focus of marijuana enforcement efforts continues to evolve. Drug poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Drug poisoning deaths are currently at their highest ever recorded level and, every year since 2009, drug poisoning deaths have outnumbered deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide, and homicide. In 2014, approximately 129 people died every day as a result of drug poisoning. Analyst Note: The information in this report is current as of August 2016.