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Opioid Drug Trafficking in the U.S.

Opioid Drug Trafficking in the U.S.

Police arrest drug trafficker with handcuffs. Law and police concept.


Synthetic opioids are often made in foreign laboratories that work with drug dealers to distribute substances like heroin to the U.S. The primary source of heroin in the U.S. is Mexico because of its elevated levels of opium poppy cultivation. Fentanyl and other highly potent synthetic opioids are primarily sourced from China and Mexico and are the most lethal kind of illicit substances abused in the nation. Drug traffickers from these countries counterfeit and distribute controlled prescription drugs that often contain various doses of fentanyl and other opioids to expand their clientele. Drug trafficking has caused millions of people to suffer in America due to the illicit substances inflicting addiction and adverse side effects.  

What Amount of Drugs Is Considered Trafficking?  

What is drug trafficking? The action is defined as selling, transporting, or importing illegal drugs. The punishment depends on the drug and how much is sold, purchased, or imported. For example, in Florida, the sale or delivery of marijuana, including 50 to 2,000 lbs., is a class G felony drug trafficking charge, and punishment includes up to 3 years in prison with a minimum fine of $25,000. The more addictive and harmful drugs like heroin grant more severe punishment. Anyone found with more than 4 grams will face years in prison. 28g poses the threat of 23 years in prison with a $500,000 fine.  

The Dangers Attached to Opioid Trafficking  

High-intensity drug trafficking is the leading cause of the increase in addiction and overdoses in America. On an average day, nearly 600 people will try heroin for the first time, and over 4,000 people will use opioids outside of a prescription.1 More and more people are dying from opioids each day, and the percentage of overdoses continues to rise. The stigma behind these substances is no longer “druggies in an alleyway” because these drugs are invading urban communities and family households.  

In addition, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Traffickers will import and sell counterfeit substances in pills, powder, and gel capsules. Heroin, fentanyl, and illicit prescription drugs are primarily trafficked into the United States. Organizations and gangs will then take control distributing the drugs and feeding the people’s addiction.  

The Violent Role of the Mexican Cartel  

The Mexican cartel introduces narcotics to the United States since Americans are the largest consumers of many drugs, such as cocaine and many opioid prescription substances. The Sinaloa Cartel, Mexico’s well-known criminal organization, is extremely powerful despite the deaths of its leaders. Drug trafficking dates back to the 19th century, and cocaine was one of the first illegal drugs to make it through America’s borders.  

This same Mexican cartel has caused financial ruin, chronic stress, and addiction rates to skyrocket. Unfortunately, there are instances where the court system in America has granted immunity to leaders of the cartel in exchange for information regarding drug turf wars in Mexico. Many Americans disagree with this action since the opioid crisis has been a long-term and growing dilemma.  

How Is the U.S. Stopping the Mexican Drug Cartel Violence? 

Drug trafficking in the United States must come to a rapid halt. However, the government and drug and crime organizations that focus on these issues have only spoken about bringing awareness to the problem and never-ending strategies. There is a lack of action behind the words, and government officials have yet to cease the destruction brought about by easy weapon accessories and drug importation. The U.S. government continues to fail to effectively regulate and manage its over $65 billion market for illicit substances.  

The Mexican cartel has access to a booming market and products like drugs and weapons and continues to transport them over America's borders. However, Mexico has its own problems that are outside of America’s control. Their law enforcement is not highlighted as it is in America.  

Opioid Treatment at Banyan Heartland Recovery Center  

At the Heartland treatment center, we offer a medical detox for patients who need professional assistance to safely overcome adverse withdrawal symptoms. From opiate to heroin addiction treatment, our medical staff prepares a clean and safe environment for patients to undergo proper care and treatment. We provide the necessary therapeutic practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy while also offering unique methods like art therapy. The mission is to get to the root of the problem, recover, and prevent relapse while being able to express emotions and thoughts in a positive manner.  

Speak to a specialist at Banyan Heartland by calling 888-280-4763 and get started on your recovery goals today!  


Related Readings:  

Freebasing Cocaine: Signs, Side Effects, and Treatment  

How Long Does a Fentanyl High Last 


Source:  https://www.justice.gov/opioidawareness/opioid-facts 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.