Illegal drugs create a huge industry in the United States that is estimated at around $200 to $700 billion a year in size. In the past decade, we’ve seen the largest drug use statistics in American history. But, the US isn’t alone in suffering the effects of these massive amounts of drugs. Drug trafficking stats show that it is a global problem that has reached unprecedented levels.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the primary drugs most commonly trafficked into the US and the percentages of drug trafficking offenses per drug:
- Oxycodone: 4.6 percent
- Heroin: 9.8 percent
- Cocaine: 24.1 percent
- Crack Cocaine: 13.1 percent
- Methamphetamine: 24 percent
- Marijuana: 21.5 percent
- Other drugs: 3 percent
Illegal drug abuse costs taxpayers around $181 billion a year in drug-related health care costs, increased law enforcement costs, and lost workplace productivity.
Almost all drug trafficking offenders go to prison and 99.3 percent of them have an average sentence of 72 months, according to federal drug trafficking stats. A national survey shows that more than 32 percent of state prisoners and 26 percent of federal prisoners were using drugs when they committed their crimes.
How Are so Many Drugs Getting Into the US?
Most of the illicit drugs in the US come across a 200-mile border between the US and Mexico. The most commonly smuggled drugs from Mexico are marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. However, Mexico isn’t the only culprit in our drug situation. Here are some shocking statistics about drug seizures that you probably haven’t heard:
In October 2018, approximately 66 pounds of meth worth $225,000 was found stashed in canned food discovered at a Texas airport by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The drugs came from Mexico.
17 pounds of methamphetamine were uncovered by CBP in a vehicle coming from Mexico Estimated worth of about $233,000. This happened at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge in Laredo, Texas.
In October 2018, the Miami Beach Coast Guard seized more than $47 million (roughly 3,516 pounds) of cocaine and 50 pounds of marijuana. The drugs were seized from three smuggling vessels near the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Aruba.
CBP found an incomplete tunnel connecting Mexico with the US that was complete with solar panels, lighting, ventilation, and a rail system that could carry illegal immigrants, arms dealers, and drug smugglers into the US.
In August 2018, border agents in San Diego found 34 heroin packages weighing 92 pounds worth $870 million. The smuggler was an 81-year-old woman.
in 2018 police discovered more than 300 pounds of drugs worth about $1 million during a traffic stop in southern Arizona. The drugs were brought across the border through a 600-foot tunnel from Mexico.
Georgia state patrol pulled over a car in Lawrenceville and discovered $2 million worth of heroin, methamphetamines, and cash.
In Alabama, a 15-year-old boy and his father were caught towing 115 pounds of crystal meth worth over $3 million.
One of the biggest busts in US history occurred in 2012 in Atlanta. Federal agents caught two men with 86 pounds of heroin worth $6 million. Plus, they found two pounds of methamphetamines, cash, and guns. The total bust was close to $7 million.
During a routine traffic stop in Kearney, Nebraska, state troopers seized 118 pounds of fentanyl, which is enough to kill 26 million people.
In 2017, authorities arrested four men and seized $9.6 million in heroin following a month-long investigation into drug distribution, New Jersey State Police announced.
These facts show that drugs are traveling around our country daily in a variety of clandestine methods. The above seizures are only a small sample. What we really need to worry about are the millions of pounds of drugs that actually make it to their intended destinations.
Other Methods of Drug Trafficking in the US
One of the popular methods for obtaining illicit drugs today is through the Internet. Many designer or synthetic drugs are sold this way. Some of the drugs include synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice, K2, and fake weed. These drugs are dangerous because there are no regulations on the chemicals in the substances.
Another avenue for obtaining illicit drugs involves what is known as “pill mills.” These enterprises are clandestine operations where a medical person illicitly prescribes opioid painkillers and other drugs. They are often a cash-only business and can be found all over the country. The highest concentration of pill mills is in Texas, California, Louisiana, and Florida.
Drug Trafficking Stats Show an Alarming Trend
Looking at the number of busts occurring daily, we could almost think that they are making a difference. But, it seems that the harder federal agents try, the more creative the smugglers and dealers become. It’s a constant tug-of-war that has no end in sight.
As drugs continue flowing into our country the number of people needing addiction treatment will continue to increase. The drug trafficking stats point to a dismal future for many of our citizens. However, providing affordable, effective rehab programs for the victims of drugs is a step further in being part of the solution.
At A Forever Recovery, we have a team of addiction specialists, compassionate staff, and a comprehensive program that works. If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug problem, contact us today. We know what it takes to help you beat your addiction for good.