The commonwealth of Kentucky is no stranger when it comes to a number of illegal drugs. Of these drugs Methamphetamine, Marijuana, Cocaine and in particular diverted pharmaceuticals are the biggest source of the problem in the state.
Kentucky is one of the nation’s top growers of domestically produced Marijuana as the sparse, expansive lands with fertile soil are the ideal growing conditions for the cultivation of Cannabis. Much of this Marijuana remains for sale within the state while the lion share is distributed to neighboring states like Indiana, Illinois, Idaho and Michigan. However the most problematic and destructive of all the drugs in circulation happen to be the overwhelming prevalence of diverted pharmaceuticals.
Heroin remains a scarcely available drug in Kentucky with the exception of the Black Tar variety which has seen a significant uptick in the last several years. Louiseville is known as the primary source of Black Tar Heroin found in the state. A moderate demand in the Southeastern has lead authorities to sporadically find trace user amounts on individuals whose supply originate from nearby Georgia, Illinois, Atlanta and Chicago.
Cocaine distribution is largely concentrated in the Central and Southeastern sections of Kentucky. The majority of the Cocaine operation is run by Mexican drug trafficking organizations with ample supply coming from the Southwest border and various channels in the Midwest and Southeastern regions. The Mexican drug cartels supply street level dealers in abject poverty stricken areas who then distribute to the rest of the state and beyond. Many of these Mexican Cocaine traffickers are fronted by legitimate businesses in the forms of auto repair shops/mechanics and restaurants who then launder the illicit proceeds stemming from their illegal drug running enterprise. Other means of Cocaine distribution come from civilian motorists smuggling in small to mid-level size shipments via automobile and parcel delivery services. The quality of the Cocaine seen in Kentucky has steadily increased since 2008 and the price has also seen a significant jump to match indicating that Cocaine operations are unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon in Kentucky.
Like Cocaine Methamphetamine operations appear to be largely headed by Mexican drug cartels conducting their business primarily out of the Central and Southeastern portions of the state. Despite authorities best efforts to clamp down on the clandestine production of Meth labs within the state there has been a concomitant increase of importation of Mexican brands of Meth known as “Ice” coming in from the Southwest border.
Kentucky happens to be one of the major sources of domestically cultivated Marijuana in the country. The state was at one point second in all of the U.S. in Marijuana production but has since been surpassed only by states like California and Colorado. The reason behind the exponential Marijuana production is the fertile soil and massive amounts of unharvested acreage that are the ideal conditions for Marijuana to flourish. These areas are remote and easy to access and provide growers with the cover from prosecution by authorities due the land being public rather than privately owned. National Forest lands provide a wonderful backdrop and climate for Marijuana enterprising individuals to ply their trade and avoid the long arm of the law at the same time.
The last decade has seen an enormous surge in the illegal diversion of pharmaceuticals such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin. Oxycontin in particular has seen a steady increase in popularity in Southeastern Kentucky from pills transported from the Midwest metropolitan regions that are then diverted to the black markets. The familiar methods for these diversion practice are the usual doctor shopping, forgery, pharmacy theft, prescription fraud and purchasing from unethical offshore pharmacies over the internet. The only way to curtail this influx of pharmaceuticals is to create more rehab and detox providers within the state of Kentucky.