Mexican Heroin

In 2005, Mexico was producing 8 metric tons of heroin per year. A ton is 2,205 lbs.

By 2009, the amount grew to 50 metric tons per year. That’s 110,250 lbs per year. We all know where all this heroin went. By 2011, the number of tons of heroin produced per year climbed to triple digits. So it’s from single to triple digits within 6 years. Mexico easily surpassed the entire Golden Triangle in the production of heroin in these years and now is exceeded only by Afghanistan.

But who knows what happened since 2005 to increase the production so dramatically? Obviously the demand grew but not in this insane way. The demand was fed by production with cartels using aggressive marketing techniques to hook more users.

I know the answer but I want to have a discussion.

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9 thoughts on “Mexican Heroin”

  1. // Obviously the demand grew but not in this insane way. The demand was fed by production with cartels using aggressive marketing techniques to hook more users.

    Did you mean that ‘natural’ growth of demand was vastly increased via aggressive marketing? It is unclear to me. If those tons are produced, then there must be demand.

    Considering my complete ignorance of Latin America apart from reading your blog, the only guess is that the Sacklers and co. cooperated with cartels in their “aggressive marketing techniques to hook more users.”

    Also, living in the Middle East, makes me think of instability in my area leading to increasing drug use and trade, but surely ISIS and various Arab users / sellers would not buy from Mexico when they could create drugs themselves.

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    1. The marketing that cartels used was aimed at switching people from prescription opioids to heroin. There is a huge mental barrier that a person needs to cross to go from “this is just a pain relief pill I got from a doctor” to “I’m going to buy heroin from a dealer and shoot up.” Heroin just wasn’t the drug of the middle classes in rural America. There was a stigma attached to it. Hard work went into relaxing the stigma and making it the drug of choice for rural and suburban grandmas.

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  2. “cartels using aggressive marketing techniques to hook more users”

    Not having direct access to the US and knowing you (as much as is possible online) it must have something to do with consumerism and the elevation of the individual’s momentary desires as sacrosanct…
    Or freedom, Americans are generally helpless against something marketed as ‘freedom’…
    Free yourself from pharma…. with heroin!

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      1. Another factor was that the spraying of the poppy fields with poison was discontinued. Viecente Fox did it literally 15 minutes after stepping down from office and Calderon continued it.

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      2. Actually, though, I deduced it by being from the West Coast. Mexican marijuana isn’t anything like what they grow in the NW, and the fields are endless up there. But Mexico’s climate is good for opium.

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  3. People who get hooked on prescription opiods will often go looking for harder stuff after a while. It creates a sort of vacuum of demand that has to be filled by something. Why not heroin?

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