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NNICC 1993 Report Released


November 1994

A coalition of government agencies dealing with drug trafficking and interdiction has released their annual report on market fluctuations in the drug trade (National Narcotics Intelligence Consumers Committee, The NNICC Report 1993: The Supply of Illicit Drugs to the United States).

The 85-page report by the National Narcotics Intelligence Consumers Committee outlines the latest information on drug availability and trafficking routes.

The report finds that the amount of heroin consumed is increasing among existing heroin users and users of other drugs. Emergency room visits for heroin-related reasons increased 44 percent, from 21,400 in the first part of 1992 to 30,800 in the first half of 1993. Heroin was easily available in all major U.S. cities, and the purity of heroin in 1993 was much greater than ten years ago (35.8 percent v. 7.0 percent). Marijuana use also seems on the rise, with use among high school seniors up among those who claimed to have used the drug at least once (from 32.6 percent in 1992 to 35.3 percent in 1993). Other high school grade levels reported increased use of marijuana as well. Potency of seized marijuana was lower in 1993 than in 1992, although there were some seizures of marijuana with THC content around 29 percent. The Committee reported that use, availability, and price of cocaine remained steady in 1993.

In 1993, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized over 9 metric tons of cocaine. Other enforcement agencies seized over 9 metric tons of cocaine in the U.S. and almost 15 metric tons overseas. The agencies estimated that between 3,699 and 4,400 metric tons of illegal opium was produced in source countries including Burma, Thailand, Afghanistan, and China. Latin American production of opium rose in 1993. Trafficking of heroin from Colombia was dominated by groups independent of the large cocaine cartels. Most of the heroin seized (68%) originated in Southeast Asia, 15 percent in South America, 9 percent in Southwest Asia, and 8 percent in Mexico.

Despite the death of Pablo Escobar, the Colombian Medellin cartel continued to be a major importer of cocaine into the U.S. In 1993 Brazil became a significant cocaine transit location, and agencies noted more transshipment activity in Central America. The U.S. Southwest border was a major location for cocaine shipment into the States.

The number of domestic drug laboratories seized decreased from 807 in 1989 to 270 in 1993, with 218 of those labs manufacturing methamphetamine.

The report also noted the passage of the Domestic Chemical Diversion Control Act of 1993 (DCDCA), which became effective April 16, 1994. This law sets up a system for registering those who distribute, import, or export legal chemicals that are used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.

In the fall of 1993, the DEA asked for emergency scheduling of a synthetic hallucinogen 4-Bromo-2, 5-Dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B), also known as "Nexus." According to the report, "an oral dose produces intoxication, euphoria, and hallucinations lasting up to 6 to 8 hours."*

This report is the 16th by the NNICC. Established in 1978, NNICC coordinates the collection, analysis, dissemination, and evaluation of strategic national and international drug-related intelligence. Participating in NNICC for the 1993 report were the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs Service, Department of Defense, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Service, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Department of State, and Department of the Treasury. The Office of National Drug Control Policy was an observer.

*If any members of the Network have any information about the use, production, or trafficking in "Nexs," please let us know.

[To obtain a copy of this report, contact the Drugs and Crime Data Center and Clearinghouse at 1-800-666-3332. Ask for the NNICC report.]