More and more people who use and abuse drugs in Massachusetts are dying each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug-induced deaths in Massachusetts in 2007 were 15.6 per 100,000 residents. This is considerably higher than the national average that year of 12.7 per drug-induced deaths per 100,000.
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Becoming a DEA Agent in Massachusetts by Meeting Requirements
Becoming a DEA agent in Massachusetts requires an advanced college degree, or a bachelor’s degree with specialized experience. Furthermore, the DEA requires that agents have experience in drug investigations in order to meet qualification requirements for DEA training.
Massachusetts is home to the headquarters of the New England Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). DEA offices in Massachusetts are located within Springfield (a Resident Office), Worcester (a Post of Duty), and the New England Division Headquarters in Boston. The local area recruiter, Jane Giadana, can be reached by calling 617-557-2357.
DEA Diversion Control in Massachusetts
Among the jobs performed by the DEA in Massachusetts is Diversion Control. This division is responsible for regulating controlled substances used by medical practitioners. From the manufacturing of drugs to their distribution, Diversion Control tries to prevent the diversion of controlled substances and pharmaceuticals from legal sources, and ensures a steady supply of necessary drugs for medical practitioners, as well as for scientific researchers and commercial needs.
Within the New England Division of DEA Diversion Control, the Massachusetts office in Boston has jurisdiction over Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The Diversion Program Manager in the office is Nancy Coffey, and she can be reached by calling 617-557-2191.
One of the most recent challenges facing DEA agents in Massachusetts has been dealing with medical marijuana dispensaries. Although Massachusetts has recently legalized medical marijuana, the DEA still views it as a controlled substance, and has vowed to raid the 35 medical marijuana dispensaries and pharmacies that are expected to be established across the state within the next year. The Massachusetts Medical Society asked the DEA to reclassify marijuana, but the DEA refused, noting that marijuana is one of the most tightly controlled illegal substances used and abused in the state.
Substances Posing Challenges to DEA Agents in Massachusetts
Many Massachusetts citizens are using illegal drugs, according to a study published in September 2012 by pain medication testing laboratory AmeritoxSM. This study, which analyzed urine sample results from across the country, found that Massachusetts had the highest illicit drug use detection rate of all states, at 18 percent. Drugs that were tested in these samples include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, PCP and MDMA (Ecstasy).
According to the 2007-08 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Massachusetts ranks among the top ten states in the U.S. for illegal drug use and dependence among young adults ages 18-25. In the study, 8.87 percent of Massachusetts residents reported using illegal drugs within the past month. This surpasses the national average of 8.02 percent. Statistics for Massachusetts show that patients in drug rehabilitation centers in the state were in treatment for heroin, other opiate, cocaine and marijuana abuse during that time.
A large drug bust in the western part of Massachusetts recently drew media attention to the drug problem in that part of the state. According to the police chief in Holyoke, heroin and cocaine distribution has become a severe problem in the western section of the state. A raid in March 2013 was responsible for the seizure of illegal drugs, cash and firearms in Holyoke. Law enforcement agencies that make up the Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force and participated in this raid include the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office, Springfield Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, Holyoke Police Department, and the FBI.