A Market in Transition: Drug Trafficking in Southern Appalachia
Dr. Brent Paterline

Traditionally, Americans have viewed drug abuse and drug dealing as an overwhelmingly urban problem. Therefore, there is very little research that has been conducted on the topics of illicit drug use and trafficking in rural America. In the last decade, however, it seems as though illicit drug use has not respected geographic boundaries and has begun to overwhelm rural neighborhoods throughout small town America. This research is concerned with illicit drug use, production and trafficking in southern Appalachia. Data were collected from a convenience sample of law enforcement officers who were or are members of five multi-agency drug task forces located in the southern Appalachia region. The findings show that the recent influence of Mexican Drug Cartels in this area has caused a variety of changes in the types of drugs being used and the methods in which illicit drugs are being produced.

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