›› Alaska: Drug
Due to its location, Alaska is a transfer point as well as consumer a state with respect
to controlled substances. With its separation from the rest of United States and shared border
with Canada, Alaska unique. Cocaine distribution in Alaska is dominated by Mexicanand Dominican groups.
Meth use and seizures are on the rise. Alaskans average among the highest per capita users of controlled
substances. This corresponds to an equally high per capita rate of alcoholism and suicide when
compared to the lower 48 States. Money laundering by drug trafficking organizations is also a major
problem in Alaska.
In Alaska cocaine trafficking is controlled primarily by Mexican and Dominican
trafficking groups. “Crack” cocaine is a major a threat to Alaskans. Many Drug
Trafficking Organizations deal in both crack and cocaine, obtaining it from the
lower 48 states. It sells in Alaska at greatly inflated prices due to the limited supply.
Access is limited. Mexican organizations dominate the limited trade in black tar heroin.
Heroin users have turned to Oxycontin as a substitute because of its greater availability.
In an attempt to limit meth manufactures Alaska has passed statutes limiting the sale of
pseudoephedrine requiring that it be placed behind the counter. Many stores have chosen
to remove all pseudoephedrine based products. The number of small lab seizures has
indeed decreased. Methamphetamine is still readily available. The majority of meth
for sale in Alaska is available from groups trafficking it from the lower 48.
“Yaba” - Meth in tablet form is becoming available in Alaska, trafficked from
Southeast Asia it is reportedly manufactured in Laos or Burma.
- Club Drugs
MDMA or Ecstasy is not yet widely available and is being distributed in limited
amounts by the same drug traffickers as those distributing cocaine, meth, and pot.
LSD and GHB are also available in Alaska.
Marijuana is the most widespread illicit drug used in Alaska. In 2006, Governor
Murkowski signed a bill into law re-criminalizing possession of marijuana. Almost
all of the marijuana produced in the state is grown in indoors under climate
controlled conditions. BC Bud smuggled from British Columbia is also a problem
and widely available, especially locally in the Anchorage area.
- Pharmaceutical Diversion
Prescription drugs are one of the most widely abused class of drugs especially by younger people.
In Alaska diversion of legitimate pharmaceuticals continues through:
- Illegal dispensing and prescribing by doctors and healthcare workers
- By pharmacists
- Forged prescriptions
- “Doctor Shopping”
- Thefts from pharmacies, nursing homes, and hospitals. Pharmacy burglaries are a problem statewide.
- Pharmaceuticals purchased without a doctor’s prescription via the Internet are also significant.
The prescription drugs most fequntlt trafficked include: oxycodones like OxyContin®, Percocet and Percodan, Hydrocodones such as Vicodin, and Lortab and anabolic steroids.