As the nation and much of the world battle the highly publicized opiate epidemic, the U.S. Coast Guard still wages war on cocaine on the high seas and along our nation’s coastal borders. Known primarily for its search and rescue missions, the Coast Guard continues to save U.S. families through its drug seizure efforts, which combat drug trafficking and smuggling into the U.S., primarily from south of the border.
The Coast Guard’s War on Cocaine
Opiate addiction remains one of this nation’s biggest problems, but that does not mean that there is not still an appetite for cocaine. The Coast Guard reports that about 20 percent of all drugs coming into the U.S. enter through a coastal border. In 2016 alone, the Coast Guard seized a record 450,000 pounds of cocaine with a value of nearly $6 billion. During the spring of last year, the Coast Guard captured a semi-submersible narco submarine carrying 12,800 pounds of cocaine. The 2016 seizures by the Coast Guard were more than double the cocaine seized on land by all other U.S. law enforcement agencies combined.
The Coast Guard’s 2016 drug seizures helped bring about the extradition of more than two-thirds of Columbian cartel leaders as well as contributed to the recapture of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The Coast Guard’s resources are limited, however, and the service is looking at potential budget cuts under the Trump administration.
So far this year, there have been several more major cocaine drug seizures. In May, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton returned to Port Everglades in Florida where it offloaded approximately 18.5 tons of cocaine that it seized in 20 separate incidents in international waters. The cocaine is valued at about $498 million and was seized in the eastern Pacific Ocean, which has become a main corridor for smuggling drugs from Central America and Mexico into the United States.
Cocaine Addiction in the U.S.
Despite the misconceptions about this drug, cocaine addiction occurs in more classes of people than just rock stars and stock brokers. In 2012, as many as 21 million people worldwide were current cocaine users, and 1.6 million of those were located in the United States. Males abuse cocaine more than any other demographic, and about one in six people over the age of 25 have tried the drug.
The frightening thing about cocaine is that it is highly addictive. Of those one in six that try cocaine, there is a high probability of several finding themselves with a drug addiction issue in a short time. In fact, crack cocaine can form an addiction with just one use.
Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
If you or a loved one have become addicted to cocaine, there is a good chance that your life is a mess. Not only is cocaine dangerous and deadly, but it can ruin your life in more ways than one. Someone affected by drug addiction will likely have financial, work, relationship, and legal issues in a short time, making life both unmanageable and unbearable.
Fortunately, addiction rehab can and does help those suffering from cocaine addiction. Even if your problems seem insurmountable at the moment, they will only become worse with continued use. A comprehensive drug addiction recovery program like the one offered by The Recovery Village can help you with cocaine detox, treatment, and formation of a long-term recovery plan from drug addiction. Contact us now to learn about admissions for our cocaine addiction treatment program.