Arizona can be considered a melting pot for people with a diverse array of different types of drug addictions.  They rank in the top 10 nationwide for prescription drug abuse for non-medical related issues.  Due to a barren and desolate desert border alongside a bevy of mountain ranges, the climate is rampant with drug smuggling and trafficking. A variety of drugs are prevalent throughout the state due to this rugged border terrain and geographic attributes.  The following drugs are in abundant supply:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription Drugs


The metropolitan areas of Tucson and Phoenix are vital shipping posts that then distribute cocaine from Arizona into supply chains around the United States.  The logistics behind the cocaine flooding Arizona stem from Colombia drug cartels that utilize various sources of land, sea and air to cross the Mexican/Arizona border.  


Heroin makes its way through various ports of entry into Arizona via concealed compartments in vehicles and civilian couriers.  The most pervasive form of heroin in circulation is the black tar variety as opposed to “China White”, hailing from the same country.  The Phoenix Field Division is reported to be on the lookout for a new form of heroin referred to as “Cheese which is being promoted as a means to hook younger schoolchildren.  Heroin becomes an attractive option when people abusing prescription opiates like OxyContin and Oxycodone.  

Prescription Drugs

Prescription products and their endless bevy of derivatives are in constant demand and supply in the Copper State.  Oxycodone and its byproducts like OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicet and the like are the most abused.  Hydrocodone offshoots like Vicodin are also highly misused and ever-present.  Dilaudid, Codeine, Methadone and benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax are another problematic segment of the prescription drug epidemic in the Grand Canyon State.  As per usual the reason for this influx of prescription medication is illegal doctor shopping, theft, Internet purchases and other fraudulent means.  


Marijuana is available in copious amounts in Arizona with portions spanning into the hundreds and thousands of pounds per shipment.  Much of the marijuana activity comes from drug couriers, or “mules” that transport the marijuana in small and large shipments throughout the sparsely populated and jagged terrain inside the border.  Customs agents seize sizable portions of marijuana shipments daily.  


There are two predominant types of crystal meth products in Arizona – Mexican based and domestically locally produced meth being sourced from various places within the U.S. and Arizona abroad.  The Mexican version of crystal meth is the most dominant and is typically smuggled via the southwestern border drug trafficking routes.  

There is clearly a need for high quality resources dedicated to fighting and treating this drug epidemic afflicting Arizona.  The emphasis should be on setting up adequate treatment and detox facilities to help relieve some of the overwhelming pressure.  Arizona is a beautiful state with so much to offer it’s residents.  If the drug problem can be reduced and hopefully eradicated it will be an even more majestic destination spot for travellers, aspiring transplants and vacationers alike.



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