National Drug Threat Assessment
The National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is an annual report of the National Drug Intelligence Center that assists in the formation of United States counterdrug policy and strategy by identifying criminal trends. Created by the General Counterdrug Intelligence Plan of 2000, the NDTA gathers intelligence from national, state, and local agencies and indicators to determine the level of danger that marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines pose to American society.
The NDTA obtains information by collecting the National Drug Threat Survey from 2,600 participating local and state law enforcement groups. The national agencies that share information with the NDTA are: Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Customs Service; El Paso Intelligence Center; Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Crime and Narcotics Center; National Institute on Drug Abuse; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and National Institute of Justice. The indicators used by the NDTA are: Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program, Drug Abuse Warning Network, Monitoring the Future Study, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, Parents' Resource Institute on Drug Education Survey, and Treatment Episode Data Set.
While overall demand for illegal drugs has remained stable, NDTA intelligence suggests changing patterns of consumption and trafficking. The increased production of high potency marijuana may lead to greater demand, while the use of methamphetamines is growing. Young adults who are part of the rave culture are taking a combination of MDMA and heroin as well as compound MDMA/methamphetamine tablets. They are increasingly obtaining these drugs from localized groups and individuals, as opposed to the Mexican and Colombian organizations traditionally associated with trafficking. This changing distribution pattern has led to the rising availability of these drugs in suburban and rural areas.
Law enforcement agencies must correctly allocate limited resources to effectively combat illegal drugs. The NDTA will likely remain in production as part of this war on drugs.
█ FURTHER READING:
National Drug Intelligence Center, United States Department of Justice. National Drug Threat Assessment 2001: The Domestic Perspective. Johnstown, PA: National Drug Intelligence Center, October 2000.
United States Department of Justice. "National Drug Threat Assessment 2002." December 2001 < http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs/716/ > (March 11, 2003).
Crime Prevention, Intelligence Agencies
DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)
FBI (United States Federal Bureau of Investigation)
Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies
NDIC (Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center)
NIJ (National Institute of Justice)