Substance abuse is just one of the problems facing the United States today. Even though it seems like a big problem, it actually first started in the 1800s when the first drugs were smuggled. This only began the never ending path of illegal drugs flowing through the U.S.
In the 1950s, a therapeutic drug was introduced called Phencyclidine (PCP), later nicknamed angle dust. Doctors soon found that the drug caused hallucinogenic side effects. It was then pulled. The drug soon reappeared in the sixties and seventies. They were made by amateur chemists for an illegal drug trade. People began to smoke, inhale it, or inject it. Effects included confusion, lack of coordination, slurred speech, and blurred vision. Physical effects include: increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, drooling, fever, and muscle rigidity. An overdose can result in a coma, brain hemorrhage, and heart failure. It has been steadily declining in the U.S.
Another type of drug is crack, which is a form of smokeable cocaine. This has become a serious health problem. The problem is that its low cost makes it more accessible to people. I is also more damaging both physically and psychologically than cocaine.
As the result, people were trying to get as many drugs as they could. Many soon progressed to smuggling the drugs in. The number of drugs to be smuggled into the U.S has been increasing. The first known drug smugglers were the Chinese in 1870. They began smuggling opium in merchant ship cargo and baggage. By the 1970s drug smuggling became more of a problem for the coast guards and seizures were made while engaged in other operations. The coast guards, between 1997 to the present, had seized 540,476 pounds of cocaine, 270,060 pound of marijuana. The major high intensity drug trafficking areas are Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, New York City, and the US/Mexico border. Not only did people smuggle drugs over sea, but they would smuggle it over borders. Many thought of outrageous ways to hide the drugs. Women would sew them in their bras; drugs would be stashed under hats, in shoes, in socks, etc. Anywhere you could possibly think, people thought of it. They were addicted.
Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, and marijuana all cross into the U.C hidden among eighty-four million cars, two hundred and thirty two million people, and 2.8 million trucks estimated cross the 38 ports of entry spanning 200 miles. As of 1996, customs services operation gateway produced the seizure of 28,507 pounds of cocaine, 3,060 pounds of marijuana, 62 pounds of heroin, and 2.2 million and 129 arrests in Puerto Rico/U.S, also know as the Caribbean route.
Much has been done to try and stop this. Approximately 1000 border patrol agent and 150 immigration inspectors, 50 drug enforcements agents, and 70 FBI agents and additional deputy U.S. Marshals have been added in 1997 to the U.S./Mexico border. Also to try to help prevent this substance abuse, agents are trying to stop the source
They want to try and reduce cultivation of the coca crops, where cocaine comes from. It is grown in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. In 1995, 780 metric tons were produced for the world market. 80% of that cocaine came from the coca plant