Every year for the last 30 years the Community Epidemiology Work Group at the National Institute of Drug Abuse has met to pool current research. Notes from the most recent meeting have just become available.
- Marijuana is the most widely abused drug, but the trend is stable in most areas.
- Cocaine/crack is at stable levels in most metropolitan areas and growing only in some rural areas such as Maine and New Mexico.
- Methamphetamine is at stable and low levels in Eastern cities, but has seen increases in West Coast metropolitan areas and among youth, women and Hispanics.
- Heroin use is stable at high levels in Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, L.A. and NYC with an increase in Chicago and decreases in Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Francisco.
- Hydrocodone and oxycodone abuse is stable, but continues to be a problem in many areas.
What does this mean? There continues to be a real need for Recovery Ministries, both in congregations and in their local communities. Faith-based substance abuse recovery programs continue to be recognized as the most effective.