Southern California seems to have everything you could wish. Beautiful beaches, snowy mountains, plenty of industry, some of the country’s best universities and schools, gentle climate. So for most of the twentieth century, people flocked to Southern California from across the U.S., Asia, Mexico and other parts of the world. The result is an urban sprawl that holds more than ten million people. And because it’s just a few miles from the U.S.- Mexico border, this makes it ripe for the attention of international and domestic drug traffickers.
The extensive transportation facilities of Southern California make it the perfect distribution point for drugs going north, drugs being distributed across the Midwest, South and East Coast, and of course, for drugs intended to be sold to local users. Southern California is dotted with airports and airstrips, and Interstates criss-cross the map. It’s very likely that wherever there are transportation channels, there are drugs being moved.
The deep-water port at Long Beach enables container ships to come in from Asia. Drugs, illegal immigrants or precursor chemicals may be concealed in these containers.
URBAN DISTRIBUTION OF ILLICIT DRUGS
Urban centers with plenty of nightlife are excellent places to distribute club drugs such as Ecstasy, GHB, ketamine and other drugs. All the clubs up and down the Sunset Strip and across Orange County make these areas fertile territories for drug sales. One common club drug, rohypnol, is available without a prescription just across the border in Mexico. Rohypnol is also referred to as one of the date-rape drugs.
Efforts to stem the flow of drugs through Ports of Entry from Mexico continue to escalate. After September 11, 2001, increased security sent drug traffickers scrambling to develop new ways of getting their drugs across the border. One of their developments was the creation of tunnels dug under the border. One such tunnel that was recently detected and destroyed was 48 feet wide at the Mexico end and 24 feet wide at the U.S. end. Tunnels ordinarily surface inside a house or other building on the U.S. side.
UTILIZING LOCAL RESIDENTS
Drug traffickers have recently begun to utilize Southern California gang members in the distribution of drugs at the street level. With gang members managing the final steps of distribution, there is less threat of seizure and arrest of the drug traffickers themselves. Gangs are also responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of the hallucinogenic drug PCP, often used in nightclubs.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE IN CALIFORNIA
But some drugs don’t have to be brought across the border. Prescription drugs can be obtained and abused through legitimate channels by doctor-shopping, or obtained through theft from a hospital, pharmacy or individual, or they can be purchased through the Internet. Some of these Internet distributors are located in Tijuana. In the Los Angeles-San Diego areas, the most commonly abused prescription drugs are OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, codeine, Valium, Lortab and steroids.
THE SOLUTION TO DRUG ABUSE AND ADDICTION
With such a varied and plentiful supply, the optimum solution is to reduce the demand, then continue to reduce the demand until it is eliminated. And so drug rehabilitation centers across Southern California deliver the drug-free drug rehabilitation technology that has already saved hundreds of Southern Californians from addiction.