Washington Drug Addiction Treatment

Washington state coast

In relation to drug trafficking and abuse, Washington State stands at its own unique crossroads. From the north comes BC Bud, the highly potent hydroponic marijuana, synthetic drugs such as MDMA (Ecstasy) and other club drugs. From the south, mostly up the Interstate 5 corridor from Mexico or Southern California, come heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and Mexican marijuana.

What’s more, Washington provides fertile grounds and excellent conditions for outdoor marijuana grows. Each year, hundreds of thousands of plants are seized from all corners of the state: 96,000 from Yakima, 25,465 from King County, 134,000 from Walla Walla County and 91,000 from Klickitat County, for example. In all, more than half a million outdoor plants and nearly 30,000 indoor plants were seized in 2009. The legalization of marijuana in 2012 has created a whole new array of problems, including seventeen THC extraction lab explosions occurred in Washington in 2014. According to the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, the incidents of fatal marijuana-impaired driving rose 122% from 2010 to 2014.

All in all, the state is well supplied with illicit drugs. Mexican drug trafficking organizations, outlaw motorcycle gangs or other criminal groups add illicitly-abused prescription drugs. Then add legally obtained alcohol that is abused to the point of alcoholism and you have Washington’s current problem: hundreds of thousands of residents need treatment for drug or alcohol abuse or dependence but don’t get it.

Washington is Designated a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

Since 1997, the state has been designated a HIDTA so that more funds and drug interdiction effort can be focused on this area. All the counties up and down the I-5 corridor are included in this HIDTA, as is the Yakima Valley, Spokane County, the Tri-Cities area plus Franklin and Benton Counties. Three ports of entry (POE) in the Puget Sound area plus eleven others along the U.S.-Canada border must be monitored for drugs coming south from Canada or being transported north by Mexican drug trafficking organizations or their affiliates.

High quantities of MDMA, marijuana and prescription drugs are seized at these POEs, headed south. In May of 2009, in a typical drug seizure at the Blain POE north of Seattle, a Canadian man was arrested with 48,000 Ecstasy tablet in his possession, a value of a half million dollars. In all, more than 1.2 million dosage units of MDMA were seized in 2008.

Mexican traffickers running cocaine north, often concealed in secret compartments of passenger vehicles or commercial trucks, are regularly apprehended. One simple comparison explains why many people will take the risk of running drugs north into Canada: On the U.S. side, cocaine is valued at $25,000 per pound. If you can get it across into Canada, it is worth $40,000.

BC Bud is often moved close to the U.S. at a remote point of the border, then is picked up by an associate on the U.S. side. In one case, law enforcement followed a Canadian woman who drove out of the parking lot of a casino on the U.S. side of the border and made her way to a wooded spot adjacent to the border. When she began to leave the area, her truck was searched. Twelve black hockey bags filled with 577 pounds of BC Bud were found. In the winter, snowmobiles may be used, and helicopters or boats may be used at any time of year.

In 2008, more than 150,000 pounds of marijuana were seized within the state of Washington. Methods of conveyance can be creative. In one instance, 1400 pounds of BC Bud were concealed in hockey bags behind a shipment of bottled beer. In another instance, 166 pounds were hidden in the walls of a trailer housing trained bears.

Substance Abuse Leads to Addiction for Many, Addiction Treatment for Fewer

Every year, about one Washingtonian in ten uses marijuana, about 350,000 abuse pain relievers and about one in fifty uses cocaine. As a result, close to a half million people state that they need to find a rehabilitation center to treat their addictions. But only about 40,000 people entered drug treatment in 2008. Out of the 8,300 people who entered drug rehabs for marijuana addiction, nearly half were between 12 and 17 years of age.

For far too many people, poly-drug use is the norm. Those in drug recovery programs for problems with alcohol along with other drugs significantly outnumbered those suffering from alcohol abuse alone. In 2007, more than 800 people were taken to Seattle Emergency Rooms with five or more drugs in their systems.

A person trapped in drug dependence and addiction needs help to break out of the trap. Very few people manage to leave substance abuse behind without help. That’s where the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program comes in.

The Narconon program not only addresses the debilitating effects of drug abuse on the mind and body, but also resolves why a person turned to drugs in the first place. As a result, a person can graduate from the program into a new life free from drug use.


Sign up free to receive our email newsletter: