In real estate, they say the most important factor is, “location, location, location,” and the same can be said for drug abuse. Year after year, national polls are conducted to see where the concentration of drug abuse and drug related problems exist. And year after year, some of America’s biggest cities continue to arise on this list.
It may not be surprising that well-known sprawling urban centers such as New Orleans, Baltimore, and San Francisco appear on the Forbes list of cities dealing with the worst drug problems in the nation. But some smaller communities are also facing epic battles with drugs, including tiny Española, N.M. For one reason or another, drug abuse in certain areas has continued to be extremely problematic.
For example, in New Orleans, an increase in drug problems arose after Hurricane Katrina reconstruction. As the drug-dealing returns, its effects are proving deadly for New Orleans, where the police say that fights over turf for distributing the drugs are the main reason for a spike in killings that threatens the city’s recovery. Even though its population is less than half of what it was before the storm, New Orleans recorded 22 homicides in July, the same number that it averaged each month in the three years before the hurricane. The San Francisco metropolitan area has a higher percentage of people who are regular drug users than any other major metropolitan area in the USA, a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found. The two main reasons behind the dramatic growth of prescription drug trafficking in the Baltimore region and across the country are this: access and money. According to federal law enforcement officials and prosecutors, millions of dollars flow across the internet – from unscrupulous pharmacists into the hands of street dealers every day.
Although mega cities are easily prone to such problems, of the recent, smaller cities are now being subjected to drug problems and crime. Espanola, New Mexico. Española is a small city in rural Rio Arriba County, north of Santa Fe. Its population of roughly 10,000 includes a large Hispanic community, relies largely on Los Alamos National Lab for employment and struggles with a high poverty rate. This is the U.S. city that consistently ranks among the top in the nation in drug overdoses, according to federal statistics. It is tough to find another American city that records 42.5 drug-related deaths per 100,000, compared with a national average of 7.3.
Society as a whole may not be able to ever completely eliminate this problem, but treatment is available, and with that we can contribute to decreasing the overwhelming drug infestations in some of our countries most prominent cities.