Like most parts of the country, Washington, DC is not immune to the problems caused by illegal drugs and activity in its neighborhoods. It has been said that the most lucrative market for illegal drugs and drug activity in the world is the United States. Nearly every aspect of American life and every community within the US has been affected in one way or another by the business of manufacturing, transporting, selling, purchasing, and abusing illegal drugs.
The problem can have especially damaging effects on young people. There are some staggering statistics associated with alcohol, vice and illegal drug use by teenagers in the United States. On any given day:
- Nearly 1.2 million teens smoke cigarettes
- 631,000 drink alcohol
- 586,000 use marijuana
- 50,000 sniff inhalants
- 27,000 use hallucinogens
- 13,000 use cocaine
- 3,800 use heroin
Perhaps most alarming, nearly two-thirds of American high school students say their school has drug problems; nearly one-third of middle school students report the same. And 80 percent of teenagers say they have witnessed the sale or possession of illegal drugs on high school grounds or seen someone who was drunk or high on campus.
In 2010, the Metropolitan Police Department's vice units made over 7,000 arrests for illegal drug posession, paraphernalia, or distribution and seized illegal drugs with a street value of over $21 million.
Click below for information on how to identify various types of common street drugs, where they are most prevalent, how to recognize signs of drug use, and what you can do to help rid your community of the common ailments associated with the drug trade.
- Identification and Risks of Common Street Drugs
- Drug Trends in Our Neighborhoods
- How MPD is Addressing the Drug Trade in Our Communities
- What You Can Do to Help
- Resources for Parents
Get More Information
In addition to what's available on our website, you may wish to visit the following resources to learn more about narcotics and illegal substances, prevention, substance abuse assistance and more.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- US Drug Enforcement Administration
- Drug Information Resources -- a primer on the 10 most prevalent drugs as well as others
- Just Think Twice -- powerful information about the consequences of using drugs (for youth)
- Drug Glossary -- an alphabetical list of the most common street names for drugs and prescriptions
- Get Smart About Drugs -- a resource for parents
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Schedule a Community Presentation
If you would like to have a presentation on drug awareness and identification in your community, please contact the Patrol Services and School Security Bureau at (202) 576-6600.