U.S. Demand for Drugs Helping to Drive the Violence

The headlines surrounding activities in Mexico often tell of death and destruction, but few reading the details understand the role the United States plays in the death and destruction. A recent Huffington Post article, highlights how much America’s insatiable appetite for drugs is impacting this poverty stricken nation.

Reports from the south show that two of the country’s six major drug cartels are opening operating treatment centers. These backward clinics are designed to bring recovering substance abusers into the drug trade. Whether or not the recovering addict joins determines their life expectancy.

In other accounts, members of the cartels are checking themselves into legitimate treatment centers with the intent of taking control of the clinic. The purpose: bringing more addicts into their ranks, strengthening their numbers.

The latest massacre occurred at the Faith and Life Center in Chihuahua city where 19 people were killed. The motives are still unclear, yet the resulting impact on the drug trade is evident – drugs represent 10 percent of the country’s economy and the United States is the number one customer.

Each year, $25 billion in drug proceeds is smuggled across the border from Mexico to the U.S. Estimates from the Office of National Drug Control Policy show 330 tons of cocaine, 20 tons of heroin and 110 tons of meth are sold in the U.S. each year. Of that amount, the majority is believed to come from Mexico.

This staggering demand in the United State is finally being highlighted by the government, forcing citizens to acknowledge their role in the overall drug war. Progress is slowly being made, yet the road is long and many steep hills are expected.