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Opening April 2019

What is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking refers to the creation, movement, distribution and sale of illegal substances. Drug trafficking occurs all over the world. While much of it is stopped, the illicit drug industry is what it is because a lot of it is successful.

Law enforcement agencies around the world are constantly researching ways to defeat drug trafficking. There has been so much work done in this area. However, each year, hundreds - if not thousands - of drugs are manufactured and distributed.

Drug Trafficking Statistics That May Astound You

Most people don't realize how serious and widespread drug trafficking really is. Actually, if you're asking, what is drug trafficking?, you might not know anything about it at all.

Drug trafficking happens every day, all over the world. It's even present in our very own country. According to the United States Sentencing Commission:

  • In 2013, there were more than 22,000 cases of drug trafficking reported in the U.S.
  • This means that more than 30% of all offenses were drug trafficking related during that year.
  • This number was about 9.6% less than the number of drug trafficking cases in the previous year.
  • More than 85% of people convicted for drug trafficking were male.
  • Almost half of all convicted drug traffickers were Hispanic.
  • More than 26% of them were black, and more than 22% of them were white.
  • More than 73% of these drug traffickers were citizens of the United States.
  • Close to half of these drug traffickers had no prior criminal history.

Do these statistics surprise you? Drug trafficking is much more common than you might think. It appears that law enforcement is bringing the numbers down. Still, it does remain a very serious problem that needs to be dealt with.

What Types of Drugs are Most Commonly Distributed Via Drug Trafficking?

There are certain types of drugs that are distributed via drug trafficking. These drugs come from countries located all over the world. They include:

  • Methamphetamine (crystal meth)
  • Cocaine (including crack cocaine)
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Prescription Drugs (including Oxycontin)

The methods used to manufacture and distribute these drugs are quite involved. They are also very effective. For many of these drugs, instances of addiction have increased over the last few years. This indicates that drug trafficking efforts are very successful.

Crystal meth addiction has grown substantially in recent years. This is largely due to the fact that drug trafficking efforts for this drug in particular have been increased.

Methamphetamine is a drug made from ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. These are found in typical cold medications on pharmacy shelves and grocery stores. Initially, meth was trafficked primarily in California, but the entire west coast has been known for it. As time went on, meth drug trafficking has grown considerably.

Today, there are Mexican drug cartels that are heavily involved in meth drug trafficking. They work hard to obtain the appropriate ingredients for the manufacture of meth. The drug is then made in both small and large laboratories all over the U.S. Even so, about 90% of the meth sold in the United States is currently manufactured in Mexico.

Cocaine is a drug that is made from the coca plant. This plant is grown in many parts of South America. It typically comes from Columbia.

Considering the fact that about 4% of people have used cocaine at some point, this is a booming industry. Cocaine addiction continues to grow, and half of the cocaine that is used comes from Columbia. Last year alone, around 17 million people used cocaine. They actually consumed about 800 tons of it. This has a street value of $20 billion.

In the United States, cocaine continues to be in high demand. Although it is also in high demand in Europe as well. There is a lack of control for the remote areas where the coca plant is grown in Columbia. This means that large amounts of the plant are grown, and cocaine and crack cocaine are easily made.

A lot has changed regarding marijuana drug trafficking. Several years ago, marijuana was largely produced and distributed from Mexico. However, the decriminalization of marijuana across the U.S. has changed this drastically.

Today, 23 states and Washington DC have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medical purposes. Most of the marijuana consumed in the U.S. is home grown, and not from Mexico or other countries. This has resulted in a need for these other areas to shift their focuses onto other drugs.

Heroin drug trafficking has almost risen to an “art form” in some parts of the world. In the past, trafficking heroin into the United States was a difficult job. Today, it is much simpler.

A lot of the heroin that comes into the U.S. enters via airplane. Drug traffickers have perfected a method of swallowing heroin tablets and bringing them in. Much of the heroin that addicts see comes from Mexico. Heroin addiction is a growing industry, with more and more turning to heroin each year.

Today, heroin is thought of as America's number one drug threat, and with good reason. It is believed that there are as many as 1.5 million heroin users in our country.

Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem in the U.S. Every year, more prescriptions are written for addictive medications. In fact, Americans consume most of the opiates consumed in the world.

The fact that this addiction is on the rise makes the market ripe for prescription drug traffickers. There is a black market available to those who seek prescription medications. No prescription is needed for the right price.

These black market Pill Mills are found all over the country. They are heavily dominating the states of Texas, California and Florida.

Global Drug Trafficking


Countries Highly Involved with Drug Trafficking into the United States

As you can see, there are several countries around the world that are heavily involved with drug trafficking. Surprisingly enough, much of it comes directly from the U.S. However, other countries involved include parts of Central America, such as Peru and Columbia. Mexico is also highly involved in this industry.

Using the Internet for Drug Trafficking Purposes

The arrival of the Internet has served to make drug trafficking so much easier. Deals can easily be made for different types of drugs online. Email is used to make deals, and the “underground Internet” is frequented by drug traffickers. Some will even use social media, and utilize code words to describe their services.

Not to mention, it is fairly easy to order illegal drugs from anywhere in the world. Many citizens are unable to obtain what they're looking for at home. As a result, they will quickly take to the web to find what they're looking for.

The Internet will surely be a part of drug trafficking for years to come. It will continue to be used in new ways to make deals and to facilitate drug trafficking. This is not going to change, but it may evolve and become even worse in years to come.

Efforts to Stop Drug Trafficking Around the World and in the U.S.

There is a lot being done to quell the growth of the drug trafficking industry. For example, officials in Columbia regularly spray fields where the coca plant might be grown. Increased efforts are made to inspect shipments that come in from other countries too.

Even so, drug trafficking continues on. It is an industry that, although illegal, will most likely continue to prosper.

The Future of Drug Trafficking in the United States

Statistically, instances of drug trafficking seem to be going down. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't a problem. The fact remains that drug trafficking is a big business. As long as it is, there will be people willing to participate in it.

Here at Northpoint Washington, it is our hope that drug trafficking can be stopped. We have seen firsthand the way that drugs tear people's lives apart. We've seen the damage, and we'd love nothing more than for that to cease. Still, until more changes are made, drug addicts need to have a place where they can go to get help. After all, these are the true victims of drug trafficking.

Hopefully, we've answered your question, what is drug trafficking?. Do you have additional questions that you'd like to have answered? We can help you. Please contact us today.

Northpoint Washington: Opening April 2019

Our facilities currently open for services:

Ashwood Recovery at Northpoint

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Boise, Idaho.

Northpoint Recovery

Our National Medical Detox and Inpatient Addiction Facility.

The Evergreen at Northpoint

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Washington State.