DUI arrests in 2009.

Because of the extensive coastline, Washington is a popular cite for drug traffickers. This has increased crime, violence and poverty.


Drug smuggling in the state of Washington is an ongoing struggle for state law enforcement. The numerous highways, lengthy coastline, and proximity to Canada are all perfect transport avenues for drug traffickers. For this reason, there is a wide availability of illegal substances throughout the state. The majority of drug trafficking occurs in and around Seattle area and resulted in an increase in crime, violence, and poverty. 

In 2007-2008, Washington was one of the top ten states for rates in several drug-use categories among persons age 12 and older: past-month illicit drug use; past-month marijuana use; and past-year non-medical use of pain relievers. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2007-2008.

The most commonly abused drugs throughout the State of Washington are methamphetamines. Mexican cartels smuggle methamphetamines from California, Texas, Arizona, and Las Vegas and distribute it throughout the state. There is evidence that shows that low quality methamphetamine is being produced in small meth labs in the rural areas. This has been less common since the ban on ephedrine, a substance used in methamphetamine production.

Like the rest of the country, pharmaceutical drug abuse continues to increase in Washington. The most commonly abused pharmaceutical drugs are OxyCotin, hydrocodone, methadone, diazepam, Lortab and Xanax. OxyCotin is currently the most abused prescription drug. These pharmaceutical drugs are obtained by forged prescriptions, patients getting prescriptions from more than one doctor (referred to as "doctor shopping"), pharmacy break-ins, and from the internet.

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