Aggressive Representation

Alarming Louisiana drug arrest statistics

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Many drugs are either illegal or subject to strict medical oversight in Louisiana. Many of those rules align with federal law. Substances that the federal government prohibits are also illegal in Louisiana in most cases.

People get arrested in Louisiana for drug crimes every day, and many people find that those charges can alter the course of their lives. The three drug crime statistics below illustrate some of the most pressing concerns driving drug-related arrests in the state right now.

Louisiana has big substance abuse issues

Statistically, Louisiana is one of the worst states in the country for drug abuse. When looking at nationwide drug abuse data from 2022, Louisiana ranked relatively high on the list. Louisiana had the fourth-highest rate of drug abuse. Only West Virginia, the District of Columbia and New Mexico had higher reported rates of drug abuse. More people abusing drugs usually translates to more prosecutions and also more adverse outcomes for those struggling with substance abuse.

Possession is the most common charge

There are numerous criminal charges that the state can bring against someone who illegally possessed controlled or prohibited substances. Some people face distribution or trafficking charges. Manufacturing is also possible when someone grows or chemically formulates drugs. Occasionally, Louisiana prosecutors pursue enhanced possession charges. Possession with intent to distribute offenses only require proof of possession in most cases but can lead to felony charges and harsher penalties if someone pleads guilty or gets convicted.

Fentanyl-related arrests have become increasingly consequential

There was once a time when many drug offenses in Louisiana related to lower-risk substances. However, that trend has reversed in recent years. Law enforcement experts report a growing number of fentanyl arrests annually for several reasons.

One is that fentanyl addiction has spread throughout the state. Another is that many involved in drug trafficking may add fentanyl to other drugs as a way to increase the potency of the drugs that they provide or reduce the cost of getting illicit substances to consumers. Louisiana has responded to the surge in fentanyl arrests and deaths by implementing harsher penalties. Possession of even small amounts of fentanyl or substances mixed with fentanyl can lead to major consequences.

There are options available for those accused of a drug offense. Some people may qualify for drug court proceedings. Others may be able to raise questions about the validity or accuracy of the state’s evidence. Fighting back against drug charges can help someone avoid becoming just another drug crime statistic in Louisiana.