Puerto Rico Drug Addiction
There are many places around the world that suffer from high levels of drug trafficking, substance abuse, and addiction problems simply because of their locations. If your country is located on the route between one of the world’s major drug manufacturing centers and its biggest consumer nations, you’re going to experience problems.
There’ll be the trafficking and sales of drugs, violent crime associated with drug sales, and in nearly every case, higher levels of drug consumption than you would otherwise experience.
This is true in Eastern Europe, it’s true in Central America and it’s also true in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a particularly alluring target for drug traffickers. If South American traffickers can get their drugs through the Caribbean and onto the island, the cargo can be moved into the U.S. without customs interference.
Puerto Rico, the Mona Passage and the Caribbean Connection
The island of Puerto Rico lies on the large curve of islands that starts in the west with Cuba, continues with Hispaniola and then Puerto Rico and then skips across the Virgin Islands, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe, Martinique and all the rest of the Caribbean chain. Between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic end of Hispaniola lies the Mona Passage, an 80-mile wide shipping channel that is an important component part of the shipping lanes between the Atlantic Ocean and the Panama Canal.
To some degree or another, most of the islands in the Caribbean serve the South American drug traffickers who wish to get their products into the United States or over to Europe. Puerto Rico has several airports and major shipping ports that move thousands of cargo containers each year. These facilities make the movement of heroin, cocaine and marijuana simple. Go-fast boats can pick up packages of drugs from passing ships and unload them at any of Puerto Rico’s ports or beaches. It’s estimated that more than 1,400 metric tons of cocaine reach Puerto Rico each year and about 30% of it is consumed on the island.
Drug Investigations Generate Arrests Numbering Over a Thousand in Just a Few Years
Puerto Rico suffers from very high levels of official corruption associated with the drug trade. In September 2010, a two-year investigation netted 89 law enforcement officers and 44 others on cocaine trafficking charges. The poorly-paid police had often been lured into providing security and protection services for drug traffickers.
In May 2010, 39 people were arrested after an investigation into heroin, crack, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription opioid trafficking. The investigation mostly centered around the drug dealing that was taking place in public housing projects in San Juan.
In 2009, a part-time American Airlines employee living far beyond his means was indicted for shipping packages of heroin as airline baggage with the help of other AA employees he recruited. He and his recruits were accused of moving 20,000 pounds of cocaine into eastern cities in the U.S. And in 2010, seven U.S. Postal Service workers working in Puerto Rico were among 30 arrested for helping pass heroin, cocaine, and marijuana through the mail. They were thought to have smuggled more than 100,000 pounds of marijuana over a three-year period.
In just the last few years, more than a thousand people in Puerto Rico have been arrested for trafficking or dealing drugs.
Puerto Ricans Suffer from Opiate, Marijuana and Alcohol Addiction
It’s estimated that in Puerto Rico, approximately 70,000 people are addicts and that $3 million per day is spent on illicit drugs. The cost to the Puerto Rican and U.S. governments exceeds $600 million per year. Treatment for opiate addiction, the most common type of addiction, often takes the form of methadone or Suboxone (buprenorphine) substitution treatment - a treatment that leaves addicts dependent on a daily dose of an opioid. Since the addict is still dependent, he or she does not learn how to recover the brightness and joy that accompany a fully drug-free life. He does not have a course of treatment that teaches him the life skills that keep him sober and productive. She does not undergo a thorough detoxification that helps soothe the body’s craving for drugs.
All of these benefits are found in the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. In some forty Narconon drug treatment centers in forty countries around the world, addicts leave addiction far behind and young people learn how life-destroying drug abuse and addiction can be. When one is well educated or when one has addressed the problems that led them into drug or alcohol abuse in the first place, it’s possible to make the right choices that lead to a productive, enjoyable and drug-free life.