Are Mexican Drug Cartels "Marketing" Heroin to Pain-Killer Addicts in St. Louis?

Categories: Crime, Drugs

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A Washington Post article this week reported on the rise of heroin coming into the United States and mentions Mexican drug traffickers' "shrewd marketing strategy": targeting areas where prescription-drug abuse is high, including St. Louis.

According to the story, drug cartels aren't making as much money on marijuana, mainly because laws are changing in the U.S., and the need for Mexican weed isn't as high as it once was. The cartels are still making money off of cocaine and human trafficking, but cartel leaders have mansions and tigers to pay for, so heroin is coming into the U.S. at a greater pace.

But the cartels aren't just picking areas of the U.S. at random. Rather, they've decided to cut in on the pharmaceutical companies' action:

DEA officials say the spread is the result of a shrewd marketing strategy developed by Mexican traffickers. They have targeted areas with the worst prescription pill abuse, sending heroin pushers to "set up right outside the methadone clinics," one DEA agent said.

And St. Louis is one of the places mentioned where the illegal drug cartels are competing with the legal drug cartels.

See also: Heroin: O'Fallon Mom Speaks of Daughter's Overdose, Rallies Against "The Silent Killer"

The rise in heroin usage in the St. Louis area over the past few years has been much talked about. And prescription opiates, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, have often been blamed for being the "gateway drug" for heroin users.

That still appears to be the case, but going from prescription pills to heroin seemed like a natural progression on the road of drug abuse, not a result of narco-marketing. If Mexican drug cartels are indeed purposely targeting areas of the country with significant prescription-drug problems, it means people with painkiller addictions are being tempted by a cheaper, often easier-to-get drug that has been brought in the country to cater their needs.

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18 comments
Los Locos Richards
Los Locos Richards

this story is ludicrous,the USA CONTROLS THE HEROIN MARKETS,HINT ,,remember the phony war on terroism in Afghanasthan,the worlds top opium producer,well think about why we were their for 16 years

Travis Fischer
Travis Fischer

John Metz John TheoneandOnly Newport Tim J O'Connell

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

The government is just doing something with the misguided ones like when Reagan sprayed the weed with chemicals to kill off the potheads..

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

Ok, you morons thought legalizing would what? Stop the Cartels. Now can we just blow the crap out of them with High Explosives? No Pun Intended; That's what I'd call a war on drugs

Keith Jasken
Keith Jasken

Careful cartels, big pharma ain't gonna like you on their turf...

Nita Biffar
Nita Biffar

that's why the government won't legalize a lot of things, because they will lose way too much money. Why do you think we had a Vietnam war, biggest jump in Herion in history

Jason M Parker
Jason M Parker

Stop giving out painkillers like candy. Make oxycontin a oncologist only script

TyroneJefferson
TyroneJefferson

The politically correct term is not mexican drug cartels.

Please refer to these poor hispanic entrepreneurs as "immigrant drug cartels".

Brandon Herges
Brandon Herges

There lies the other side of the double edged sword of legalization. Legalize it, they said. It'll shut down the cartels, they said.

Amy Lynn Wall
Amy Lynn Wall

The majority of mexican cartels synthesis to "black tar" heroin which is very rare in the STL area. Afghans synthesis to "china white" heroin which has exploded in the STL area in the past 10 years. The war in Afghanistan has produced a 300% increase in heroin in Europe & the US in the past 10 years.

Mifflin Rickey
Mifflin Rickey

The only "Cartel" importing this crap is the CIA, Afghanistan wasn't just about the pipeline. Opium production was a crime and the growers were persecuted by the Taliban until they were almost eradicated,then came 9/11.

Bart Cohn
Bart Cohn

I wouldn't trust the DEA on anything, the only thing they know about is perpetuating their own [unnecessary] salaries.

Karen Hall
Karen Hall

I wouldn't doubt it. Super. There isn't enough gang/drug violence happening here already.

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