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February 1, 2018

Drug Presence in Pennsylvania 1999-2016

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division (PFD) conducted a review of laboratory-analyzed drug seizures for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The resulting analysis of this data formed the basis for estimating the level of drug presence in Pennsylvania and highlighted trends in drug availability between 1999 and 2016. 

February 1, 2018

Heroin Cocktail: An Analysis of Pennsylvania Laboratory Drug Seizure Data

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division (PFD) Intelligence Program maintains situational awareness of drug availability, abuse, trafficking patterns, adulterants, concealment methods, etc., through analysis of law enforcement and public health information and data, as well as law enforcement source information. 

February 1, 2018

Deadly Contaminated Cocaine Widespread in Florida (2018)

A review of cocaine exhibits acquired by law enforcement authorities during operations across Florida and analyzed by forensic laboratories during the period from 2016 to 2017 revealed the widespread adulteration of cocaine with fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances. Fentanyl, a Schedule II opioid analgesic approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, carries a high risk of overdose and can be lethal at the 2-milligram range. Forensic chemists discovered fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances including acetyl fentanyl, carfentanil, Furanylfentanyl, and p-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl in over 180 cocaine exhibits. Carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that is approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine, was the most prevalent of the fentanyl-related substances found in Florida’s cocaine seizures. 

January 11, 2018

2017 Domestic Methamphetamine Threat Assessment Key Findings

The Domestic Methamphetamine Threat Assessment provides a comprehensive strategic assessment of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and use of methamphetamine. 

This report combines federal, state, and local law enforcement reporting; public health data; news reports; and intelligence from other government agencies to assess the methamphetamine threat to the United States. 

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Methamphetamine is a synthetically-produced central nervous system stimulant that metabolizes slowly and has long-lasting effects. 

December 11, 2017


Spanish version of publication, Growing Up Drug-Free:  A Parent's Guide to Prevention (April 2017).


November 28, 2017

Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders

The abuse of drugs containing fentanyl is killing Americans.  Misinformation and inconsistent recommendations regarding fentanyl have resulted in confusion in the first responder community.  This document provides scientific, evidence-based recommendations to protect first responders from exposure.

October 1, 2017

2015 Heroin Domestic Monitor Program

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Heroin Domestic Monitor Program (HDMP) is a retail-level heroin purchase program that provides data analysis about the geographic source of heroin, along with price, purity, adulterants, and diluents sold at the street-level in 27 U.S. cities. In 2015, a total of 823 qualified exhibits were purchased. Of those exhibits, 600 were classified as Mexican-origin heroin (267 Mexican-South American [MEX-SA], 252 Mexican-Black Tar [MEX/T], 49 Mexican-Brown Powder [MEX/BP], and 32 Mexican [MEX]); 178 heroin exhibits were classified as Inconclusive Origin-South American Processing Method (INC-SA); 42 were classified as South American (SA) heroin; and 3 were classified as Southwest Asian (SWA) heroin. During 2015, for the tenth consecutive year, no Southeast Asian (SEA) heroin exhibits were purchased through the HDMP. 

October 1, 2017

2017 National Drug Threat Assessment

The 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA)1 is a comprehensive strategic assessment of the threat posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs. The report combines federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement reporting; public health data; open source reporting; and intelligence from other government agencies to determine which substances and criminal organizations represent the greatest threat to the United States.

Over the past 10 years, the drug landscape in the United States has shifted, with the opioid threat (controlled prescription drugs, synthetic opioids, and heroin) reaching 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 appears to be rebounding; new psychoactive substances (NPS) continue to be a challenge; and the focus of marijuana enforcement efforts continues to evolve. Drug poisoning deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States; they are currently at their highest ever recorded level and, every year since 2011, have outnumbered deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide and homicide. In 2015, approximately 140 people died every day from drug poisoning (see Figure 1).

August 1, 2017

The 2015 Heroin Signature Program Report

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Heroin Signature Program (HSP) analyzes several hundred wholesale-level heroin samples each year to identify the geographic area—Mexico, South America (SA), Southwest Asia (SWA), or Southeast Asia (SEA)—where the samples were manufactured. 

August 1, 2017

Colombian Cocaine Production Expansion Contributes to Rise in Supply in the United States

Changes in key international cocaine market indicators point to the highest U.S. cocaine supply levels since at least 2007. National data also show the most significant increase in domestic cocaine usage since at least 2009. Recent cocaine production and U.S. Transit Zone movement indicators have reached the highest levels ever observed.a Cocaine supply and usage in the United States is rising and will likely continue to expand in the near term based upon a body of rising indicators, though some usage indicators may increase at slower rates than others. Barring a significant shift in the Government of Colombia’s (GOC) policies, drug trafficking organization (DTO) behavior, or U.S. drug consumer preferences, this trend is likely to amplify through at least 2018. 

August 1, 2017

Methamphetamine Fatalities on the Rise in King County, Washington

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office (KCMEO) reported that deaths caused by drugs increased to their highest levels in 2016 in King County, Washington. Methamphetamine was responsible for 109 (30 percent) of the 360 drug deaths according to KCMEO data. DEA reporting indicates that the methamphetamine responsible for the overdose deaths was produced in Mexico and smuggled across the Southwest Border (SWB) to the Pacific Northwest. Recently, methamphetamine users have begun combining the drug with heroin—a combination that has led to a substantial increase in deaths in King County—according to an analysis of KCMEO data. 

August 1, 2017

Fake Rx in Indiana: Carfentanil and Fentanyl found in Purported Oxycodone Pills

A recent enforcement operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Indianapolis District Office (IDO) resulted in the seizure of 970 purported prescription pills that were various shades of blue and appeared to be oxycodone. Laboratory analysis subsequently revealed that the pills were counterfeit; the dark blue pills contained carfentanil and the light blue pills contained fentanyl. Fentanyl is a Schedule II opioid analgesic approximately 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil is a Schedule II substance, similar in structure to fentanyl, with an analgesic potency 10,000 times that of morphine and is used in veterinary practice to immobilize certain large animals, including elephants. Both can be fatal in very small amounts. 

July 1, 2017

Opiate Overdoses and Naloxone Administrations in New Orleans

Documenting the administration of naloxone in New Orleans, LA, is one way to determine the amount of heroin being abused in the city. Naloxone, sold under the name Narcan®, is a medication used to counter the effects of heroin and opioid overdoses. Naloxone is typically administered by first responders and can reverse the depression of the central nervous system, respiratory system and hypotension caused by an overdose. In calendar years (CYs) 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, Orleans Parish Emergency Medical Services documented 3,467 administrations of naloxone (655, 920, 980, and 912 for the respective years). 

July 1, 2017

Analysis of Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania, 2016

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is in the midst of an unprecedented epidemic of drug abuse and drug-related overdose deaths impacting every corner of the state and all of its residents. In 2016, more than 4,600 Pennsylvanians died as a result of drug abuse, with thousands more affected by addiction, either personally, or through family, friends, and loved ones.

June 22, 2017

BUL-153-17 Opiate Overdose Deaths Remain High in Seattle and King County

The King County Medical Examiner’s (KCME) Office reported that deaths caused by drugs increased to their highest levels in 2016 in both Seattle and King County, Washington. The majority (63 percent) of the 360 deaths were caused by opioids. The opioids responsible for the overdose deaths were opium derivatives such as morphine and heroin, but also included oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. In addition, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, fentanyl-related compounds, and U-47700 were also found. 

June 15, 2017

Drugs of Abuse

Drugs of Abuse delivers clear, scientific information about drugs in a factual, straightforward way. With the information in this guide, parents and caregivers can help their children make smart choices and avoid the consequences of drug abuse. This publication covers topics including the Controlled Substances Act and introduces drug classes including narcotics, stimulants, marijuana/cannabis, inhalants, steroids, and more.  Drugs of Abuse also provides information about drugs of concern and designer drugs, including synthetic opioids and  “bath salts.”

June 1, 2017

Cartels and Gangs in Chicago

Chicago has a long history of organized crime and is home to numerous street gangs that use the illegal drug trade to build their criminal enterprises. Although the murder rate in Chicago has declined significantly since the 1990s, recent instances of gang-related homicides have placed Chicago’s crime situation in the national spotlight. Compounding Chicago’s crime problem is a steady supply of drugs from Mexican drug cartels, most notably the Sinaloa Cartel. Illicit drugs flow from Mexico to Chicago via a loosely associated network of profit-driven intermediaries, with Chicago street gangs serving as the primary distributors at the street level. The profits earned through drug trafficking increase the staying power of both street gangs and drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), thereby influencing levels of violent crime in both the United States and Mexico. Of particular concern is the trafficking and distribution of heroin, which has increased significantly in recent years and caused significant harm to communities in Chicago and throughout the United States. This report provides background on the gang-related crime situation in Chicago and offers insight on the nexus between Mexican DTOs and Chicago street gangs. 

June 1, 2017

The Opioid Threat in the Chicago Field Division

All available indicators—including investigative intelligence, case initiations, seizure and arrest data, abuse indicators, and anecdotal information—indicate that opioids present the greatest illegal drug threat to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chicago Field Division (CFD), which encompasses the states of Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Northern and Central U.S. Federal Judicial Districts in Illinois. Although this threat is affecting urban and suburban areas most severely, it has been expanding throughout almost every state. 

June 1, 2017

Opioid Overdose Deaths Remain High in Seattle and King County

The King County Medical Examiner’s (KCME) Office reported that deaths caused by drugs increased to their highest levels in 2016 in both Seattle and King County, Washington. The majority (63 percent) of the 360 deaths were caused by opioids. The opioids responsible for the overdose deaths were opium derivatives such as morphine and heroin, but also included oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. In addition, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, fentanyl-related compounds, and U-47700 were also found. 

May 1, 2017

Drug Slang Code Words

This Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Intelligence Report contains information from a variety of law enforcement and open sources. It is designed as a ready reference for law enforcement personnel who are confronted by many of the hundreds of slang terms used to identify a wide variety of controlled substances, designer drugs, and synthetic compounds. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information presented. However, due to the dynamics of the ever-changing drug scene, subsequent additions, deletions, and corrections are inevitable. Further addendums to this report will attempt to capture changed terminology, to the extent possible. This compendium of drug slang terms has been alphabetically ordered, and identifies drugs and drug categories in English and foreign language derivations. 

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