[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/24/obama.mexico.policy/art.juarez.cnn.jpg caption="A police convoy moves in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, last month, across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas."]
National Drug Intelligence Center
U.S. Department of Justice
The trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs inflict tremendous harm upon individuals, families, and communities throughout the country. The violence, intimidation, theft, and financial crimes carried out by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), criminal groups, gangs, and drug users in the United States pose a significant threat to our nation. The cost to society from drug production, trafficking, and abuse is difficult to fully measure or convey; however, the most recent data available are helpful in framing the extent of the threat. For example:
* More than 35 million individuals used illicit drugs or abused prescription drugs in 2007.
* In 2006 individuals entered public drug treatment facilities more than 1 million times seeking assistance in ending their addiction to illicit or prescription drugs.
* More than 1,100 children were injured at, killed at, or removed from methamphetamine laboratory sites from 2007 through September 2008.
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