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Illegal cocaine trafficking continues to cripple US
Posted in Treatment

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently seized 24 packages containing 63 pounds of cocaine worth more than $484,000. The seizure took place on Sept. 5, 2017, at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge, Texas. The drug was recovered from a 43-year-old man from Mexico, who had hidden the packages in the vehicle he was driving.

Such a seizure of cocaine is common in the United States. According to a United Nations report, traffickers used the Andean sub-region to North America and Europe as the preferred route to distribute cocaine. Around 90 percent of global cocaine seizures in 2014 occurred in Americas, with South America alone accounting for 60 percent of the busts.

Around 15 percent of global cocaine seizures between 2009 and 2014 took place in the U.S., preceded by Colombia. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), over 90 percent of the cocaine trafficked to North America is produced in Colombia.

Illegal cocaine use rampant across US

America remains one of the biggest markets for cocaine, most of which comes from Colombia and Mexico. Despite being an illegal drug in the U.S., people can easily get the drug, thanks to drug traffickers who make it available to them.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), released on Sept. 7, 2017, an estimated 1.9 million people aged 12 or older used cocaine in the past month. The number of current cocaine users in 2016 was almost the same in most years between 2007 and 2015. Similarly, the 2016 estimate of crack use remained unchanged from most years during 2008 to 2015.

However, the current use of cocaine among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years witnessed a 47 percent decline over a year’s period, from 53,000 in 2015 to 28,000 in 2016. It means authorities have been able to check cocaine use among adolescents.

There might be no increase in overall cocaine users this year, but rising number of overdose deaths involving the drug is still a big concern. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the number of cocaine-related overdose deaths increased by about 47 percent between 2002 and 2015. The NIDA data also shows that the number of deaths related to cocaine abuse increased from 5,415 in 2014 to 6,784 in 2015. Moreover, the number of young Americans trying cocaine for the first time rose by 61 percent between 2013 and 2015, the NSDUH reported.

Dealing with cocaine addiction

Cocaine is one of the most used illicit drugs in the U.S. It is a powerful psychoactive drug, which is associated with many physical and mental health disorders. People using cocaine may experience problems such as increased blood pressure and body temperature, faster heartbeat, nausea, dilated pupils, restlessness and tremors.

The prolonged use of cocaine is associated with problems such as loss of sense of smell, malnourishment and Parkinson’s disease. Sharing needles during cocaine use is also likely to increase the risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis C infections. Therefore, people battling cocaine-related problems should immediately visit an expert for early recovery.

Sovereign Health, one of the leading cocaine addiction treatment centers in EL Paso, offers evidence-based treatment to people with cocaine addiction. You can call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know more about our cocaine treatment programs in Texas and our advanced drug rehab centers in the U.S.

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