The international war on drugs is often a top concern in the political and economic realms. Administration after administration has worked hard in the attempt to keep illegal drugs from entering the United States, yet this problem still exists. While illegal drug trafficking brings in a variety of different drugs, one of the oldest and most dangerous is cocaine.
Cocaine from South America
The top three producers of cocaine are Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. Coca crops are grown by poor farmers in these countries and then sold to drug traffickers. For many of these countries, exporting cocaine brings in large amounts of money and is often their primary source of income.
The U.S. has partnered with many South American countries to crack down on the cocaine smuggling, but the task is not an easy one. South American governments are concerned for their farmers whose revenue will be slashed, and have vowed to help these farmers until the coca can be replaced by another crop.
The international war on drugs is also costly for the United States. The money we spend goes toward employees' salaries, supplies, and facilities to combat the trafficking. In the past 10 years, the United States government has spent $5 billion combating drug smuggling from Colombia, and expects to spend $71.7 million in Peru this year. Even with the large sums of money allocated to the war on drugs, these substances continue to find their way into our country.
Helping Cocaine Addicts
The drug war has raged on for decades, yet these South American countries still sell as much cocaine to the United States as ever before. In fact, the U.S. is consistently among the top buyers of cocaine from South American countries.
Some of those who promote an international war on drugs believe that by limiting the supply of cocaine coming into our country, we will decrease our country's cocaine problem. However, those who have experienced the control of an addiction know that cocaine addicts will just find another way to get their drug. Many argue that we need to start at home, and help our cocaine addicts recover so that the demand for the drug decreases.
Prevention and treatment for cocaine addiction is the best way to manage this problem in our country. By implementing effective intervention programs, we can help those who struggle with cocaine addiction, and move toward putting the cocaine smugglers out of business.