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It is a well-known fact that New York is one of the world’s most populated areas. This bustling state is home to a city that doesn’t sleep and beautiful natural landmarks. It is a leading financial and enterprise center, features incredible sports teams and provides a non-stop lifestyle to its constituents. Wall Street, pizza and fashion are just a smidgen of the millions of things that are emblematic of New York. But behind the scenes, New York hides a dark secret — drug addiction.If you are or someone you love is battling chemical dependency, contact Palm Partners Recovery Center. Our renowned facility provides holistic and effective treatment. We assist with alcoholism, drug rehab, detox and more. Call Palm Partners now.

Data shows that those 18-25 particularly need – and aren’t receiving – drug detox and rehab in New York. If you’re using and abusing, call Palm Partners Addiction Detox and Rehab now for immediate help: 646-580-5932. Get into the right facility and transform your life. Our professionals are standing by, 24/7.

What you should know

New York City is one of the most significant drug destinations and distribution centers in the U.S. Mexican, Colombian and Dominican drug trafficking organizations are the primary distributors, particularly of cocaine. They transport the drugs via interstate highways, using private vehicles and, to a lesser extent, tractor-trailers. Drugs are also trafficked through mail services to local drug peddlers. Heroin, cocaine, crack, marijuana and MDMA (Ecstasy) are the most significant threats across the state.

Compared to other states

Illicit drugs overall – among the highest for those 18-25, moderately high for those 26 and older
Cocaine – among the highest for those 18 and older
Marijuana – among the highest for those 18-25, moderately high for those 26 and older
Alcohol – moderately high for those 18-25, average for those 26 and older
Pharmaceuticals – average for those 18-25, low for those 26 and older

Source: SAMHSA’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, based on 2008-2009 annual averages. SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A closer look


Significant in New York City and upstate regions. Most of the marijuana entering these areas arrives via airfreight or auto/truck from Florida, Canada or the Southwest. Individuals with past or present ties to organized crime dominate a large percentage of marijuana trafficking within the New York City area. Potent hydroponic marijuana comes from Canada and is also grown in state, especially on Long Island and in Queens.


Readily available. Colombia-based distributors continue to supply New York’s top cocaine rings. Cocaine is distributed at the retail level via street sales and sales in businesses such as bars and small grocery stores. Retail-level cocaine organizations that deliver to homes and offices via car service are becoming more prominent in New York City. Crack cocaine, while is much less of a problem than in the late 1980s and early 1990s, continues to be available in economically depressed areas in all major New York cities.


Second most prevalent threat. Oxycodone abuse is on the rise, particularly in Staten Island. Since OxyContin has altered its formula to prevent abuse, Opana ER abuse has increased. Ketamine is also popular.


A significant problem that is increasing every year.


South American heroin by far the most common type.


Limited but growing problem.

Club drugs

West Coast supply. Most of New York City’s meth supply is from the West Coast via couriers who fly there to pick up a half pound to one kilogram. Almost all Ecstasy pills are stamped with logos, creating brands that users seek out.

Prescription Drug Abuse in New York

Similar to other areas of the United States, prescription drug abuse in New York is on the rise. A recent task force reported that more than a quarter-million residents in New York City report either misusing the opioid painkillers that have been prescribed to them or abusing painkillers that haven’t been prescribed to them. This has become a very serious, and deadly, problem. The task force also reported that between 2004 and 2010, the number of painkiller-related emergency visits increased by 143 percent and unintentional overdose deaths involving opioid painkillers increased by 65 percent in the same time period. During 2011, fatal painkiller overdoses occurred at a rate of more than one every other day, even though overall drug overdoses in New York City have been declining.

Percentage of New York population using/abusing drugs

AGE1 18+
Past Month Illicit Drug Use2 9.00
Past Year Marijuana Use 11.39
Past Month Marijuana Use 6.86
Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana2 3.57
Past Year Cocaine Use 2.93
Past Year Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use 3.99
Perception of Great Risk of Smoking Marijuana Once a Month3 38.86
Past Month Alcohol Use 59.12
Past Month Binge Alcohol Use4 24.69
Perception of Great Risk of Drinking Five or More Drinks Once or Twice a Week3 42.97
Illicit Drug Dependence2 2.16
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2 2.95
Alcohol Dependence 3.38
Alcohol Dependence or Abuse 6.84
Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2 8.44
Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use2,6 2.53
Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use6 6.47
Serious psychological distress 10.97
Having at least one major depressive episode7 6.95

1 Age group is based on a respondent’s age at the time of the interview, not his or her age at first use.

2 Illicit Drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.

3 When the Perception of Great Risk in using marijuana or alcohol is low, use of marijuana or alcohol is high.

4 Binge Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.

5 Dependence or abuse is based on definitions found in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

6 Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to respondents needing treatment for illicit drugs or alcohol, but not receiving treatment at a specialty facility.

7 Major Depressive Episode is a period of at least 2 weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had a majority of the symptoms for depression as described in the DSM-IV.


Condensed version of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004 and 2005, from SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies.

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