The Connection between Mexican Drug Traffickers and the Availability of Heroin and Meth in the U.S.

The Mexican drug cartels–or rather their sheer determination—has given way to a rise in both heroin and methamphetamine in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report.

The DEA 2012 report detailed that, although the availability of cocaine is down in the United States, the availability of meth and heroin has increased during the same time. The annual report, called the National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, is released by the DEA to detail the threats posed to the United States by the “trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.”

It provides data received from more than 1,300 state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as information regarding the relationship between the United States and Mexico in terms of the drug trade.

Cocaine Distribution Down, Meth and Heroin Distribution Up, Says DEA

Although cocaine distribution into the United States is on a decline, likely due to declining production in Columbia and a number of anti-narcotics strategies that have brought down the production and shipment of cocaine, heroin seizures at the U.S./Mexico border surged in 2012, with the report showing an increase of 232 percent between 2008 and 2012. The increase, says the DEA, is likely due to a growing number of Mexican drug traffickers entering the U.S. market.

During the same time, methamphetamine seizures soared, increasing nearly fivefold during the same period. Much of the meth problem in the United States appears to be in the Western states. For example, the report found that nearly 43 percent of men tested positive for meth, while just 0.4 percent of men tested positive in Washington D.C.

Marijuana also continues to be a persistent problem, with drug smuggling from Mexico remaining “consistently high” for the past decade, according to the DEA report. Domestic production of marijuana is also on the rise, which is due in part to the large number of U.S. growing operations being controlled by Mexican traffickers.