Man Being arrested for drug crimes in los angeles

5 Common Drug Crimes in Los Angeles

Drug-related crimes are a big problem in California. Here are five of the most common drug crimes in Los Angeles.

The majority of felony arrests in Los Angeles are drug related.

According to a public health study by Los Angeles County, there were over 40,000 felony arrests for drug offenses in 2008. Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana, drug crimes in Los Angeles are still a serious problem.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at five of the most common drug crimes in Los Angeles.

Let’s take a closer look …

Man Being arrested for drug crimes in los angeles

Common Drug Crimes in Los Angeles

In 2008, the five most common drug-related crimes in Los Angeles County included the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Meth
  • Cocaine / Crack
  • Heroin

These crimes involved the arrest of both adult and juvenile men and women in Los Angeles and resulted in felony or misdemeanor charges.

With the legalization of marijuana, these statistics are subject to change. However, Los Angeles will likely see an increase in Marijuana DUI charges and other marijuana-related crimes among minors.

If you were arrested for a drug-related crime in Los Angeles, it’s best to seek help from an attorney with experience providing drug crime criminal defense in Los Angeles.

Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common drug crimes in Los Angeles today.

1. Alcohol-Related Crimes

Alcohol may be legal, but it’s still one of the most addictive drugs available to the public.

According to the Los Angeles County Public Health study, there were nearly 1,000 drug-related deaths in Los Angeles in 2008 and alcohol was one of the top three drugs involved. Over 15,000 residents were admitted to publicly funded treatment programs in Los Angeles.

Alcohol-related crimes include driving under the influence of alcohol and consumption among minors.

2. Drug Possession

The number of drugs in personal possession can partially determine legal liability.

A small amount will usually result in a misdemeanor. But if someone also has a large amount of cash, a scale, and some sort of transport like baggies, then they could be arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to sell and charged with a felony.

3. Prescription Painkillers

The abuse of painkillers is a serious problem, not only in California but all across the country. Painkillers are a major source of fatal drug overdoses. In 2014, for example, drug overdoses were the number one cause of death in the U.S., with over half of those cases involving prescription painkillers or heroin.

Painkillers have become a common treatment in America, especially for younger or older people. Drugs are now the most commonly used substance abuse by young people over the age of 14.

Most of the painkilling medicine is not being prescribed by family doctors or general practitioners. According to one study by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, it is being distributed by pain clinic physicians who are out for financial gain. Many of these doctors have been charged with over-prescribing painkillers for-profit and falsifying medical records.

4. Methamphetamines

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that produces a high, coming and going very quickly. Many addicts take it during binge sessions to achieve a level of euphoria caused by the release of high levels of dopamine.

The drug comes in different forms. One is a white powder or pill. Another form is known as crystal meth and looks like pieces of glass. People ingest the drug by taking the pill, smoke it, smoking it, snorting the powder, or injecting the dissolved powder.

Methamphetamines are dangerous to the health of users and can cause increased heart rate, respiration, and temperature. Overdose can lead to death.

In recent years, the drug has become more prevalent in California due to the increased production and distribution by Mexican drug cartels. Seizures of the drug on the California-Mexican border has quadrupled in recent years.

5. Heroin

Heroin is an opioid drug that comes from morphine, and it is injected, smoked, or snorted in order to get high. As it is consumed, heroin enters the brain and converts back into morphine. Then, it binds to opioid receptors in the brain and causes the sought-after rush of euphoria.

In addition to getting the rush, people get side effects like clouded mental functioning, flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and potentially health complications from overdosing.

According to the records of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin use increased 63%, and heroin overdose deaths increased almost fourfold, in the 11 years from 2002 to 2013.

The records also showed that an estimated 517,000 people used heroin at least once in 2013 – an increase of 150% over 2007 numbers.


The severity of drug-related crimes will depend on the crime, drug, and situation.

If you or a family member was arrested for a drug-related crime, you should seek the help of a drug crime attorney in Los Angeles sooner than later.

Call 818-208-2952 and the Attorney Referral Service may be able to get you a free 30-minute consultation.

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