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The Drug Enforcement Administration 2024 National Drug Threat Assessment

Posted: June 10, 2024

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has released the 2024 National Drug Threat Assessment PDF (NDTA), its annual comprehensive strategic assessment of illicit drug threats and trafficking trends endangering the United States. The report highlights:

  • The dangerous shift from plant-based drugs to synthetic drugs.
  • The intersection of drug trafficking and illicit finance.
  • The DEA’s response to the nation’s current drug threats.
  • The DEA’s priority of reducing the supply of deadly drugs in the U.S. and defeating the 2 cartels responsible for the majority of drug trafficking here.

Drug-related deaths claimed 107,941 American lives in 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information in the NDTA includes updates such as:

  • Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are responsible for approximately 70% of drug-related deaths.
    • Seizures of fentanyl, in both powder and pill form, are at record levels. Over the past 2 years, seizures of fentanyl powder nearly doubled.
  • Methamphetamine and other synthetic stimulants are responsible for approximately 30% of drug-related deaths.
    • Nearly all the methamphetamines sold in the United States today are manufactured in Mexico, and they are purer and more potent than in years past.

This report also provides in-depth profiles of the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, transnational criminal organizations responsible for controlling much of the clandestine drug production, transportation routes and smuggling corridors from Mexico into the United States.

While synthetic opioids and methamphetamines are currently the most concerning threats, the NDTA also discusses trends for a range of illicit drugs, including cannabis, psychoactive substances and illicit use of controlled prescription drugs.