Arkansas has seen a growing drug and alcohol abuse problem for many years now. Drug traffickers often transport illicit substances into and through the territory through the Arkansas and the Mississippi Rivers - the two major waterways in the state.
Every year, for instance, over 200 million tons of products and commodities transverse Arkansas through the Mississippi River. On the other hand, the Arkansas river is the main commercial port in the state and it also acts as a major source of drugs.
The primary whole distributor and transporters of drugs in the state are Mexican criminal groups. They mostly deal in heroin, marijuana, powder cocaine, and methamphetamine. These drugs are transported into and through the state from other southwestern states, California, and Mexico. The other drugs that are common in the state include hallucinogens and club drugs.
The main retail drug distributors in the state include outlaw motorcycle gangs, street gangs, local independent dealers, and Mexican criminal groups. They often deal in heroin, marijuana, crack and powder cocaine, methamphetamine, and many other drugs.
A total of 176 deaths were reported in Arkansas in 2010 as involving alcohol. In 2011, SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - reported that about 305 people among every segment of 100,000 people in Arkansas were admitted into a recovery center for abusing alcohol.
The NSDUH, on the other hand, reported in 2014 that more than 124,000 people in the state above the age of 12 years abused or were dependent on alcohol from 2009 to 2013. The same organization also showed that 132,000 people above the age of 21 years reported that they had engaged in heavy or binge drinking from 2012 to 2013.
In 2013, the state was ranked in the 25th position nationwide in terms of the number of drug overdoses. The same year, it was reported that 70,000 of its residents abused or were dependent on illicit drugs.
Another single day count reported that 5,927 were enrolled in an addiction treatment center. Of this number, 53 percent was seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, 15.7 percent for alcohol abuse, and 31.3 percent for drug abuse only.
Admissions into addiction treatment centers that were publicly funded increased from 1998 to 2002. The Department of Health in Arkansas also reported that the admissions for treatment for marijuana, powder cocaine, and amphetamine abuse increased during the same period. However, there was a decrease in the admissions for heroin and crack cocaine.
In terms of recovery facilities, the state had a total of 62 addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers in 2010. These facilities had an enrollment of a total of 3,939 individuals that year.
Of the 62, a total of 33 offered addiction treatment services for 1,785 people. Another 14 facilities offered these services for 1,444 people struggling with a mix of addiction and another co-occurring medical or mental health disorder.
53 centers treated a total of 2,024 people struggling with both drug and alcohol abuse while another 53 offered treatment for 1,350 people with a drug abuse problem only. 49 facilities, on the other hand, only offered alcohol addiction treatment for 562 people.