What Sort of Drug Cimes Occur in Omaha?

by tylercook on September 20, 2013

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Though drug use is lower in the state of Nebraska than the national average, Nebraska faces enormous challenges to stem the tide of illicit drug use ravaging major cities in the state, including Omaha. In particular, methamphetamine use in Nebraska remains a serious concern, as its use has risen in the last two decades.

Drug use in Nebraska

According to the Nebraska Drug Control Update from the White House, use of illicit drugs in the past month was reported to be six percent in Nebraska, in contrast to an eight percent national average. Moreover, drug-induced deaths in Nebraska were less than half the national average, at 5.2 per 100,000 compared to 12.7 per 100,000 nationally. The drug most often reported as the primary reason for seeking treatment is methamphetamine, followed by marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs. The rise in the use of methamphetamine has been associated with a rise in violent and property crime. Cocaine, which is often converted into crack cocaine, is also associated with violent crime in the state.

Omaha as a Distribution Hub

Currently, Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are using Omaha as a hub to ship drugs to other parts of the country, such as the southwest and California, given that Interstates 29 and 80 allow ease of transport to other major cities. Among the drugs favored by these organizations are methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. According to a Department of Justice report, the majority of methamphetamine, considered the drug most associated with violent crime in Omaha, is produced in Mexico rather than locally. Mexican drug-traffickers also take advantage of connections among fellow nationals in nearby cities to distribute illicit drugs into the Omaha metropolitan area.

With the rise in the abuse of prescription opiates and subsequent efforts by law enforcement throughout the nation to clamp down on their availability, Mexican drug-traffickers have provided heroin as a cheaper alternative to users of such opiates. As a relatively inexpensive and highly potent semi-synthetic opiate, heroin provides the high that prescription opiate users crave and temporarily alleviates the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal they may experience. Curtailing the availability of prescription opiates has therefore had the unintended consequence of allowing Mexican producers of heroin to gain market share, similar to the case with methamphetamine.

The Role of Street Gangs

The distribution of illicit drugs in Omaha has also had the effect of aggravating gang violence, as street gangs compete for territory in which to ply their trade. Though Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are involved in shipping massive quantities of illicit drugs into Omaha and other Midwestern cities, distribution at a retail level is predominantly the domain of street gangs, such as the Bloods, Crips and Surenos. The recession following the 2008 financial crisis has only exacerbated gang violence, as inner-city youths find less opportunities outside of the very lucrative drug trade.

Mitigating the Effects of Illicit Drugs

With the ease of access to illicit drugs in Omaha and other parts of Nebraska, the focus of law enforcement on incarceration, particularly among low-level users and dealers, has failed to adequately address the continuing problem of illicit drugs. Efforts to rehabilitate drug users and offer opportunities to economically depressed areas will provide longer-lasting and more effective solutions to the problem of illicit drugs.

Pete Gibson is a freelance writer who primarily focuses on drug crimes, criminal defense, sentencing guidelines, rehabilitation and other related topics. Those who’d like more information on Drug Crime Defense in Omaha, NE should visit an establish firm in this area.




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