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Statistics on drug arrests in the U.S.

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Drug Crimes

If you currently face charges as a result of a drug-related offense, you could have overwhelming anxiety. Whether you worry about how the case will affect your career, reputation or your freedom, it is pivotal to take the right approach in court. Additionally, you should not let stress interfere with your ability to protect your future, especially since seemingly insignificant aspects of your case could have a major effect on the penalties you face.

Reviewing data on drug-related arrests sheds light on this issue and also serves as a reminder that many people in the U.S. are in this position.

Drug arrests by violation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program offers data on drug-related arrests over the course of 2019. According to this information, 86.7% of these drug arrests involved possession, while 13.3% involved sales or manufacturing. The sale or manufacturing of cocaine, heroin and their derivatives accounted for 4.2% of drug arrests during 2019, compared to marijuana (2.9%), synthetic drugs (1.7%) and non-narcotic drugs (4.4%).

When it comes to arrests for drug possession during 2019, 32.1% involved marijuana, 19.6% involved cocaine, heroin or their derivatives and 31% involved non-narcotic drugs.

Drug arrests by region

In the western U.S., 90.4% of drug arrests involved possession while 9.6% involved selling or manufacturing illegal substances. In the Northeast and South, possession accounted for 84.2% or drug arrests, compared to sales or manufacturing (15.8%). In the West, marijuana accounted for 11.3% of drug arrests, significantly lower than the Northeast (48.2%), Midwest (40.4%) and South (39.4%).

Whether you face drug charges for possessing, selling or manufacturing illegal substances, it is critical to carefully review the details of your case and the legal options you have.