Heroin is derived from the juice of a poppy grown in Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia including Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mexico and Colombia. The poppy juice is turned into opium and then morphine, and morphine is processed into heroin. Every year, more than 400 tons of heroin is produced and trafficked to consumers around the world. From South America, heroin is brought north into the US across the US-Mexico border. Asian heroin is mostly brought into large cities on the East Coast by way of Europe.
North America consumes more than 40% of the world’s heroin. Once the drugs hit US soil, they are usually distributed to gangs and criminal groups that break the large shipments into smaller packages. From there, these small packages find customers with cravings and addictions.
The area suffering the greatest threat from heroin is the Northeast, where trafficking channels have existed for many decades. Increased production in Mexico and South America has resulted in more American cities receiving shipments of this drug. Miami, Texas and the Pacific Coast states have also been particularly hard hit by this drug.