Both the United States and Canada are facing the problem of illegal drug trafficking along their borders. Though constant efforts of federal agencies in the two nations have brought down the number of drug smuggling cases, criminals are getting more creative and employing the latest technology to dodge authorities.
In a recent anti-smuggling operation, Canadian police, with the help of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), have confiscated more than 1,000 kilograms of pure cocaine with a street value of roughly $250 million, media reports said. The drugs were concealed inside hollowed-out garden stones and illegally imported from Argentina via the sea route, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said on Aug. 28, 2017.
OPP officials described the cocaine they took into possession as nearly 97 percent pure with an estimated value of approximately $60 million. This is the largest drug haul since 1992 when the Canadian police had seized a plane smuggling nearly 3,000 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated market value of around $1 billion.
Giving details of the drug haul at a press conference held at OPP headquarters in Orillia, Commissioner Vince Hawkes said, “The OPP recognize that illegal drugs cause grievous harm and threaten community safety. With the amount of pure cocaine seized during Project HOPE, we’ve stopped many criminals from causing more harm to our communities while removing a quarter of a billion dollars from the criminal economy.”
The police have arrested three men on charges of drug trafficking. The smugglers had decided to play safe by filling the drugs inside stone blocks and then resealing them with concrete, making it an arduous task for sniffer dogs to detect their presence. A detailed investigation helped the police uncover a warehouse in Montreal and in another location in Stoney Creek where the drugs were hidden. The police found that the drugs were part of a smuggling operation carried across various continents and traced its roots in Mexico.
Cocaine use pervasive in US
Cocaine use is quite prevalent among Americans as evident from statistics by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), suggesting that there were nearly 1.5 million cocaine users aged 12 years and above in 2014. In addition, adults in the age group of 18-25 years have a higher rate of cocaine use when compared with people belonging to any other age group.
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. Recurring use of cocaine can result in dependence along with other adverse effects. Excessive indulgence in cocaine use can result in premature death. International seizures of the second most trafficked illegal drug continue to rise. According to the World Drug Report 2016, in 2014, Americas accounted for 90 percent of global cocaine seizures. Between 1998 and 2014, South America witnessed a two-fold increase in the total quantity of cocaine seized. Significantly, the U.S. accounted for 15 percent of the total quantity of cocaine seized in the world between 2009 and 2014, second only to Colombia.
In the U.S., health care advocates, certified medical professionals and community workers regularly organize camps and meetings to warn people about potential hazards of cocaine abuse. As teenagers and young adults are more vulnerable to cocaine use, parents should keep a tab on their wards’ activities regularly to avoid them developing an addiction to the drug.
Treating drug dependence
Constant drug use can have extreme consequences like substance use disorder and other related ailments. However, these disorders are preventable. Experts say that investing in evidence-based drug abuse treatment programs can help reduce the pervasiveness of dependence across the nation.
Sovereign Health is one of the leading behavioral health care providers in the United States. Sovereign Health of California provides state-of-the-art treatment for people suffering from an addiction to cocaine or any other drug. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call our 24-hour drug helpline or chat online for an immediate assistance. Our representatives will give you all relevant information regarding drug rehab help.