Stimulants and Drugs in Latin America

In Latin America, the use of drugs and stimulants has increased over time

The ineffective measures that have been implemented to address the problem are blamed for the increase in substance abuse. The prohibition of alcohol and drugs was one of the steps the US Congress implemented to address the problems. It aimed to improve people's lifestyles by reducing excessive alcohol consumption and outlawing the use of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. The drug prohibition act also focused on reducing the levels of crime rates that were surging in the country. The Congress felt that with the reduction in the substance abuse across the country, the levels of crime rates would also be reduced. After its implementation, the Act was a success, but it was not long before the alcohol, and drug prohibition was a major failure. After the prohibition, the number of cases of alcohol consumption and hard drugs abuses increased significantly. The rates of crime were also witnessed in several parts of the country among the Latin American communities. This paper primarily focuses on the use of stimulants and drugs among the Lain Americans.


Illegal drug trade in Latin America

The illegal drug trade in the Latin America is primarily concerned with the sale and use of drugs such as cocaine, Cannabis and Heroin. The coca cultivation has in the past decades concentrated in areas such as Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. Drug consumption among the Latin Americans remains relatively low but the use of cocaine has significantly increased across the past two decades. The drug routes into the for the year ending 2008 was Mexico but the increased crackdown by the government of Mexico forced the cartels to shift course and operate routes through Guatemala. The United State is the main destination of the illegal drugs from Latin America, with 20 to 20% of the trade channeled to Europe and the rest of the world. The primary drug trafficking cartels and organizations are the Colombians and Mexicans and said to generate estimated $18 to $39 billion in a year. currently, the Mexican cartels are considered to be the largest organized crime groups in the U.S. the failure by the American government in coming up with stringent rules and regulations that are aimed at dealing with the use of illegal drugs hassled to the rise in the substance abuse and drug trade in the country (Topik, Steven, Carlos Marichal and Zephyr 67-112). As a result of drug trafficking, the Latin Americans stand out as the world crime rates reaching to highs of 56%.

The rise in the use of illegal drugs and stimulants among the Latin Americans has been attributed to various factors

One of the main factors that contribute to this rise in substance abuse is the high poverty rates experienced in the region. As a result of poverty, most of the Latin Americans have ended up being forced to either enter into the hard drugs business or engage in substance abuse. Most of these individuals are used by the cartels in drug trafficking and upon completion of their missions, they end up being paid (Bourgois 45-62). Most of the Latin Americans have found this as a lucrative business, hence the reason for their sticking to it. Some of those persons involved in the trafficking of the drugs into the U.S. end up being addicts, thus the rise in the use of the hard drugs among the population.

Another factor contributing to the rise in the illegal drug usage among the Latin American societies has been the rampant corruptions in countries such as Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and parts of the U.S. cases of corruption makes it hard for authorities to deal with the issues of stimulants and drug abuse and this ends up leading to an increase in their usage. In the past decades, for instance, most of the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels have escaped the rule of law due to the government corruption that is in existence. Some of those persons that are involved in drug trafficking are also members of the same government that is mandated with the role of ensuring that the illegal drug trafficking is eradicated.

Measures put in place in dealing with the issue of stimulant and drug abuse

One of the measures that were put in place to help deal with the drug abuse across the U.S. is the alcohol and drug prohibition act. In 2008, the U.S. also supported the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) whose primary aim was to finance the programs for narcotic interdiction, strengthen the rules and regulations that were focused on dealing with the issues of substance abuse among the Latin Americans and dealing with the organized crimes that were being pushed by the drug cartels in the region. The Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) program has also been on the frontline in supporting special units that cooperate with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Guatemala to investigate the cartels and share intelligence information with the authorities on those cartels engaged in drug trafficking.

The U.S. has also been on the frontline in working together with the Guatemala authorities with the aim of clamping down on South American cocaine routes, most of which Guatemala serves as a landing zone. American anti-narcotic officials have also been strategically placed in countries such as Peru, Paraguay and Mexico and this is focused on ensuring that they flag and deal with the Latin American cartels that are involved in drug trafficking into the U.S. and other parts of the world (Bourgois 53-67). It should, however, be noted that factors such as high corruption rates and disparities in the social class have made it hard for authorities to deal with the issue of stimulants and illegal drugs among the Latin Americans.


In conclusion, coming up with an idea that requires creative thought requires a lot of polishing before it’s implemented. Over the years, there has been a rise in the substance abuse among the Latin American community. It is a high time that the necessary authorities came up with the necessary measures that will be instrumental in dealing with the issue of stimulants and illegal drug abuse among the Latin Americans.

Work Cited

Bourgois, Philippe. In search of respect: selling crack in El Barrio. Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 2010. Print.

Topik, Steven, Carlos Marichal, and Zephyr Frank. From silver to cocaine: Latin American commodity chains and the building of world economy, 1500-2000. Durham, NC: Duke U Press, 2007. Print.

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