2018 Drug Threat Assessment

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has released the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment. The 164-page document outlines the threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal drugs.

During 2016, approximately 174 people died every day from drug poisoning, outnumbering deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and homicides. In 2017, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were involved in nearly 30,000 deaths, and from 2016-2017, Mexican heroin production grew by 37 percent.

The report states that Mexican transnational criminal organizations, including the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, remain the greatest criminal drug threat in the United States.

National and neighborhood-based street gangs and prison gangs continue to dominate the market for the street sales and distribution of illicit drugs in their respective territories throughout the country. Drug trafficking remains the major income source for gangs.

The National Drug Threat Assessment provides a yearly assessment of the many challenges local communities face related to drug abuse and drug trafficking. Highlights in the report include usage and trafficking trends for drugs such as prescription drugs, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and the hundreds of synthetic drugs.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than 70 percent of those abusing illicit drugs in America are employed, as are most binge drinkers. The most common illicit drugs abused on the job are marijuana and cocaine.

According to the Addiction Center, the likelihood of workplace accidents skyrockets when employees are under the influence. Drinking on the job can also lead to aggravated assault and sexual battery charges.

Other side effects of addiction and drug abuse at work can include:

  • Withdrawal symptoms affecting job performance;
  • Inability to focus or concentrate while under the influence;
  • Needless risk-taking affecting the company; and
  • Illegal sales of drugs to coworkers and other illicit activities.

Those who abuse drugs are not the only ones affected in the workplace. Friends, family members, and coworkers report mental stress at work as well.