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Get a list of drug treatment
programs in D.C. and Maryland

Review research and forums
from Prevention Online,
a federal health service.

Read about local
prevention efforts
compiled at
the University of Maryland.


Take this quiz about
local drug patterns.

D.C. ranks in the middle
of all U.S. cities for
drug-related hospital visits.

Cocaine is more
common in area
emergency room visits,
but marijuana is on the rise.


You need a zipper
to download these documents:

The 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (in WordPerfect-126K).

Statistical tables from the NHDSA (in WordPerfect-248K)

The 1995 report of the Drug Abuse Warning Network, on drug-related emergency room cases nationwide (in WordPerfect-166K)

SAID, a U.S. government bibliographical database of anti-drug literature (an MS-DOS application-1968K)


Read a special report
on international drug trafficking.

Read stories on cocaine dealing
by Nicaraguan Contras and
suspected links to the CIA.

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Drugs on Our Streets: A Special Report

There's a new face on the Washington area's drug problem, and it's a young, angry face. Today's drug problems most often belong to defiant youngsters who start using as early as sixth grade.

Read an ongoing Washington Post series about the changing patterns of drug addiction and treatment in the D.C. region . Then discuss the local drug problem online with a substance abuse counselor and a family therapist.

The Post Stories
This series of occasional articles takes an in-depth look at illegal drugs, covering trends in three areas: general
use and distribution, habits of juveniles, and treatment resources. Go directly to the topics, or read down for a summary of each story.

Drug Use and Distribution

Marijuana grows in a hydroponic vat. Washington Post Staff Photograph
Political Rhetoric Overlooks Change in Drug-Use Patterns
Unlike the drug epidemic among college students in the 1960s and 1970s, the trend today is among youth in their early teens. And, unlike the cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, the current trend is fueled primarily by marijuana. Much of the 1996 political rhetoric failed to acknowledge that these new patterns may require new types of government initiatives.

Marijuana's Violent Side
Law enforcement officials say that as marijuana has grown in popularity, deadly crimes have become a routine part of the marijuana trade. In the last 12 to 18 months, D.C. police officials say, marijuana-related homicides have escalated.

For Jailed Kingpins, a Cocaine Kinship
Just months after Rayful Edmond III was sent to prison for life, he met two Colombian drug dealers who would help him continue to run the District's largest-ever cocaine operation from prison. Edmond's subsequent decision to cooperate with authorities--in exchange for possible leniency for his mother--offers a look inside a major drug operation.

Juveniles and Drugs

Area Juveniles Feel the Tug of Illegal Drugs
Juvenile arrests and student suspensions for illegal drug use and sales have risen sharply in the Washington suburbs, and abusers are getting younger, according to federal and local officials. Unlike the surge in crack cocaine that ravaged urban areas in the late 1980s, the latest increases are fueled by marijuana's comeback and cut across social and geographic lines.

Marijuana Users' Air of Defiance
Jocks and honor students. Grungers and preppies. Rich and poor. Marijuana is part of the social scene for some teenagers in all these high school groups and has growing allure for middle school students, according to interviews with area teenagers. Marijuana use is widely perceived among those students as being harmless, despite medical evidence to the contrary.

In Fairfax, Parents Get an Anti-Drug Lesson
Fairfax County school officials, alarmed by a jump in the number of drug-related expulsion hearings, used back-to-school night to distribute brochures and a video. It was one of the largest initiatives of its kind in the country.

Drug Treatment

D.C. to Use Needles in AIDS Fight
The District is beginning a major initiative to hand out clean hypodermic needles to intravenous drug users, adopting the strategy to slow the spread of AIDS in one of its main breeding grounds. The $200,000 initiative will be the first large-scale needle exchange in the Washington area.
waiting line
Eddie Locke, 28, left, waits outside Clean and Sober Streets at 4:30 a.m. When the doors open at 5 a.m., the program will be able to accept only 41 people. Photo by Michael Williamson, Washington Post.

Little Room for Recovery
The number of people admitted each year into drug treatment programs in Prince George's has been halved since 1990, while the number of people the District's programs can treat at a time has diminished by one-third since 1994.

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Online Counseling for Parents, Teens Discuss teen drug abuse with a substance abuse counselor who can provide professional answers to your queries about drugs and drug abuse. Find out what role parents play in stemming teen drug use. Join this online discussion with a family therapist and with other parents. If you haven't yet registered to participate in discussions, click here.

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