The Changing Patterns Of Illicit Drug Use In The US [CHARTS]

Yesterday we told you which states have the biggest problems with which drugs.

What about for the country as a whole?

Via the DEA, here is the evolution of drug seizures between 1986 and 2012.

The figures can be largely taken as a proxy for which drugs were most popular when.

But they’re also a reflection of laws and economics.

As a result, you’ll notice that seizures of some drugs have come down significantly thanks since the Great Recession, as well as the dialling back of the war on drugs under the Obama administration. Meanwhile, cheaper drugs have seen their popularity climb.

ACID: The huge spike in 2000 was largely due to a single, legendary seizure at a former missile silo.

COCAINE: There was a large surge in the mid-part of the 2000s thanks in part to a Operation “Busted Manatee,” aimed at targeting Caribbean trafficking routes. The numbers may also have come down during that period thanks to more aggressive policing by then-Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Also, it was around this time that everyone was starting to feel wealthier.

MARIJUANA: Our Walt Hickey just documented what drove the large decline after 2010.

HEROIN: Its popularity seems to come in and out, but has seen a recent resurgence because it is relatively cheap to make.

METH: Its the cheapest drug to make. As a result, seizures continue to soar.

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