The state of Arizona not only has to deal with drug use and the sale of illegal and illicit substances, but it also has to contend with major drug trafficking operations. The DEA has seen a great deal of violence tied to drug trafficking. Situated close to Mexico the state has seen its drug related murders and assaults. They even have to deal with a disproportionate (when compared with other states within the U.S.) amount of kidnappings tied directly to the drug trade. Groups smuggle cocaine into Arizona not only distribute them within the state but also the region.
Cocaine is a major problem in Arizona with much of it being smuggled in from Mexico. A great deal of cocaine can be found within Arizona's borders because the state acts a hub for Mexican drug distribution throughout the United States.
Most heroin in the state, is of the Mexican black tar variety. It is brought in often times by smugglers either via vehicles or individuals (backpackers, pedestrians, etc.). The state of Arizona holds the distinction of having more heroin then any other state in the United States. However, of all of the drugs available for use, heroin is abused the least. Most of the heroin in Arizona is distributed to other parts of the country.
Prescription abuse, is however a growing problem. Individuals are increasingly taking pills such as Oxycontin and Oxycodone. Some of it is obtained via doctor shopping, pharmaceutical theft and prescription forgery in the state. However, some of it is also smuggled in from other countries, primarily Mexico. Prescription abuse in the state has gotten so bad that nearly half of all people entering drug rehab are seeking help for prescription abuse and/or addiction.
Arizona is a major transportation and shipping hub for methamphetamines. Most of which is eventually sent to cities in the Midwest.
The drug problems in Arizona are very serious. The large amounts of drugs smuggled into the state and distributed locally and throughout the country make it very dangerous and difficult for the DEA to control. The fact that Arizona borders Mexico, where many of the drugs sold in the United States enter the country, makes it even harder to control. There is a constant battle to keep the state clean of these illegal shipments. Cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription drug abuse all pose a threat to Arizona. Hopefully, it is a threat that local law enforcement can get a handle on.