Last updated: June 5, 2023
Shortly after the border opened, reports started coming in that drug trafficking was on the rise. The problem has steadily grown worse. If you enter the words “illicit drugs” and “border” into your search engine, page after page of results pop up with stories of illicit drug busts.
The border patrol is overwhelmed, many police departments feel as if they’re fighting a losing battle against drugs, and United States citizens are dying in record numbers.
We won’t back down though.
According to the U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, the following drugs were seized by CBP agents in 2021:
- Marijuana 319,000 pounds
- Methamphetamine 191,000 pounds
- Cocaine 97,600 pounds
- Fentanyl 11,200 pounds
- Heroin 5,400 pounds
- Khat (Catha Edulis) 203,000 pounds
- Ketamine 10,800 pounds
- Ecstasy 1,200 pounds
- LSD 38 pounds
The USBP also confiscated another 75,000 pounds of “other drugs.” The category includes, but isn’t limited to, amphetamine, ephedrine, hashish, marijuana plants, opium, oxycodone, oxycontin, precursor chemicals, prescription drugs, chemicals, and other uncategorized drugs.
Outlook is bleak
It’s only mid-May and so far this year, USBP seizures may be on track to blow last year’s stats out of the water.
See for yourself.
- Marijuana 89,300 pounds
- Methamphetamine 100,000 pounds
- Cocaine 34,700 pounds
- Fentanyl 6,600 pounds
- Heroin 1,100 pounds
- Khat (Catha Edulis) 111,000 pounds
- Ketamine 10,200 pounds
- Ecstasy 693 pounds
- LSD 32 pounds
- Other drugs 35,800 pounds
Marijuana seems to be entering the country at a slower pace. That may be due in part to the fact that so many states have legalized the drug now.
The border patrol is committed to confiscating as many pounds of illicit drugs as is humanly possible each and every day. And, they have many crime-fighting partners. The Department of Homeland Security is one.
A sophisticated operation
Just this week news broke of Homeland Security discovering a 1,744 foot-long tunnel in southern California. They began tailing two people who were suspected of drug trafficking as they left a house under surveillance. Agents were led straight to the underground trafficking tunnel.
It stretched from Otay Mesa, California to a destination near Tijuana, Mexico. The sophisticated passageway was complete with wall barricades to avoid cave-ins and was equipped with electricity to light the way.
In all, Homeland Security arrested six individuals in connection with the smuggling operation—so far. The six were charged with various charges that included trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.
We don’t believe the totals from Friday’s bust have been added to the above figures. In addition to the drugs seized during the arrests, agents discovered the following in the subterranean passageway across the border:
- 1,762 pounds of cocaine
- 164 pounds of methamphetamine
- 3.5 pounds of heroin
The drugs had an estimated street value of 25 million dollars.
This is the 90th such passageway discovered in the Southern District of California since 1993. Twenty-seven of them were considered to be sophisticated with the last of them being discovered back in March of 2020.
Is it making a difference?
The answer to that question is yes, of course, it’s making a difference. Taking drugs out of the hands of traffickers keeps them from reaching the dealers who in turn distribute them to communities across the nation. No community is exempt because illicit drugs are everywhere.
Even though the USBP is confiscating hundreds of thousands of pounds of illicit drugs, how much more has come into the country undetected?
There’s really no way to determine that.
The battle grows more desperate
We know that many people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with stressful situations. Since the pandemic struck in March 2020, fear has gripped a large portion of the country and it doesn’t want to let go. Now, the economy is tanking which adds even more angst to the situation. And, you can’t deny that the growing threat of civil unrest plagues the minds of many these days.
At the same time, dealers have become so brazen that illicit drugs are being delivered by mail.
However they obtain them, Americans are dying from death by overdose in record numbers. Especially, now, that fentanyl is so easily accessible. Dealers are scooping it up to mix in with methamphetamine, cocaine, and other drugs because it’s a cheap filler. It boosts the effects of their product too and that’s good for repeat business.
However, many of their customers unknowingly ingest too much of the drug. That alone puts them at high risk of death by overdose. A few grains of the stuff is enough to kill a person. Moreover, though, the combination of drugs in their system adds to the overdose risk exponentially.
How to help
Employers can continue to wage war on drugs in the workplace by incorporating a drug-free program. It has a big impact on safety as statistics show that accidents are markedly reduced in companies after beginning a program.
Once word gets out that there is a drug test, most people who use drugs don’t even bother to apply. Moreover, drug-free programs have other benefits.
- Lower turnover rate
- Less absenteeism
- Reduction in medical costs
- Increased productivity
Most people are apt to attribute the increased productivity to the fact that employees who use drugs are less productive. That is certainly true because drug impairment affects the way the brain works. You need to be clear-headed to perform at an optimum level at work. However, we’d like to add another reason for the increase.
The increased workflow could also be contributed to the fact that your employees are going to be more satisfied with their jobs. Why? It’s because they know you are looking out for their best interests.
Knowing that their employer is doing all they can to create a safe working environment goes a long way in creating a strong bond of trust between you and your workers. Subsequently, that’s going to affect your entire business in a positive way.
The border patrol will continue to confiscate illicit drugs being trafficked into the country. They deserve far more than our gratitude for the jobs they do every day. Let’s stay involved. Find a way to battle drugs within your community. Drug-free work programs, preventative education, and outreach programs designed to reach addicts are all worthy choices.
We have no choice but to fight. Together we can make a difference and the tide will turn. We can’t stop fighting for that day. We will never stop fighting.