Drug Trafficking: Current Issues and Existing Fundamental Studies

Drug Trafficking: Current Issues and Existing Fundamental Studies Related to Drug Trafficking



Lots of national and international publications have documented clear global patterns of drug trafficking for many decades. Recent studies shoes that Europe has become a hotspot for the global consumption of the major drugs in the world. Therefore, this research identifies the impacts of drug trafficking on people’s social, economic and political environment and well-being in different nations. Transnational drug trafficking, usually associated with organized crime, has emerged as a significant concern globally. The research identifies the current issues and the existing fundamental studies that address issues related to drug trafficking. Also, it details the methodology and data collection methods, the research results, analysis, discussion, conclusion, and recommendations on matters concerning drug trafficking.


Drug Trafficking


Transnational crimes refer to local criminal acts that spread past national borders violating the government laws of more than one nation. Any activity is considered a transnational crime if it has either of the following impacts (Kar & Spanjers, 2017). First, suppose it is committed in more than one country. Second, in that case, if it has been done in one state but affects another state, committed in one state but involved criminal groups that engage in criminal acts in more than one country, or it is executed in one state. Still, a considerate part of its planning, preparation, or control takes place in another nation.

In this research, I focused on drug trafficking, one of the most transnational crimes that are profound and have been affecting our society for many decades. Drug trafficking refers to the trade of illicit drugs such as opium, cocaine, heroin, among others, without the authorities’ permission (Tulu & Keskis, 2015). It is a globally illegal activity across the world, and it is prohibited. It is considered a criminal act to commit such prohibited activity. Therefore our thesis statement is that drug trafficking has grown to become a severe issue in the United States of America and many developing countries, affecting the economy and causing severe public concerns in the States. In addition, drug trafficking has influenced and affected the development and economies of many countries, especially developing countries.

Drug trafficking has affected many nations’ social, political, and economic environments, such as Peru and Colombia (Ospina, Marks & Ucko, 2016). Interestingly, drug trafficking is a common transnational crime that has spread rapidly and uncontrollably. Despite the improvements in legal enforcement to cease and prevent drug trafficking, it continues to be the most prevalent problem in our society today. Besides, drug trafficking in the United States has become a pandemic. Therefore, the U.S government has committed itself to stop and fight against drug trafficking crime within the country and across the globe (Martin, 2018).

Significance of the Study

It is essential to analyze the importance of drug trafficking since it allows us to get insight into the causes and consequences of the cases which revolve around our society since we are still these issues globally. The findings from this research will play an essential role to local communities, educators, policymakers, and the public. The society or public will also benefit from this study to understand the negative impacts and risks of drug trafficking on their social, economic, and political lives (Miron, 2017). The research provides the reasons or causes of drug trafficking, the prevention strategies to prevent and stop drug trafficking activities. The knowledge obtained from this study will contribute to the overall picture of the illegal drug supply chain, including drug distribution, trafficking routes, latest trends, and emerging patterns, among others.

This study is also essential to learners in that they understand why drug trafficking is a transnational crime that affects the globe, understanding the efforts that should be adopted in combating the problem. On the other hand, policymakers can establish rehabilitation centers and health facilities, training, and financial support to deal with drug trafficking problems. In addition, policymakers will be able to enact appropriate laws that will effectively control drug trafficking. Also, the study will help policymakers identify the different techniques and methods used by drug traffickers and why they quickly adapt to new environments in relation to technology. Therefore this study is significant to students, policymakers, the communities, and the public. It helps them gain knowledge to help them handle the negative impacts of drug trafficking on their social, economic, and political lives. We also gain new knowledge that can be used to build on the existing one.

Literature Review

Drug trafficking has imposed economic costs on nations like Mexico. Although it has many benefits, including economic diversification, it is associated with specific critical resources for it to succeed. However, this makes it completely different from other legal drug industries and negatively impacts the economy. In addition, we expect that drug trafficking should promote political goodwill and better and peaceful investment environments but instead, drug trafficking benefits from corruption in the government. Also, it promotes violence and increases public demand for drugs (Phillips, 2015). Therefore, drug trafficking increases violence, increases corruption, and creates and creates local drug markets.

Moreover, violence negatively impacts economic stability, resulting in financial losses, decreased productivity regarding death or injuries, human capital investment losses, and medical care costs.  Furthermore, the fear of violence distracts the social interaction between people in an attempt to protect their lives. Violence also triggers migration. For instance, in Mexico, Sinaloa, one of the major drug trafficking centers, is associated with migration. Studies show that drug-related violence has resulted in the migration of over 360,000 inhabitants. This has left behind ghost towns within the region. Finally, there is a relationship between violence and economic development. Health losses, consumption material losses, transferences, and labor decline among individuals can be used to calculate the economic costs of violence caused by drug trafficking.

Drug trafficking is considered a negative externality as it stimulates corruption. It is well known that drug trafficking is associated with corruption and the concerned authorities. Many research findings show that the connection between drug traffickers and prosecutors, Mexican police, politicians, and judges are not a secret. Furthermore, most of the significant part of the revenue from drug activities goes into the hands of corrupted political leaders. In Mexico, drug trafficking has extended its power to the political environment by impugning, funding, or intimidating the electoral processes (Franz, 2016). The drug industry imposes corruption on Mexican institutions leading to severe economic costs.  As a result, corruption leads to increased criminal acts, distortion in government expenditure, and decreased government productivity. Corruption also reduces competitiveness in the judicial systems and increases the cost of doing business since the compliance of contract terms becomes less credible.

Drug trafficking negatively influences the economy by creating a local drug demand. There is a rising demand and consumption of drug substances leading to drug abuse. The most consumed drugs include marijuana, cocaine, and other inhaled drugs. The increase in drug abuse is due to the excellent payment the drug smugglers pay their employees. Any place a drug industry is located leads to drug abuse (Dolliver, 2015). For instance, in Mexico, the consumption of cocaine has increased dramatically in the past decades. Over 3.5 million Mexicans consume illegal drugs at least once in their lives. Drug trafficking has had direct economic costs regarding health care treatment and prevention, human capital losses, and productivity. It has led to increased medical costs. For instance, the prevention and treatment of drug addicts by public and private hospitals are very high. Besides, spending a lot of time in prison, death, injuries, and permanent lesions caused by drug abuse and consumption leads to productivity losses.  There are also costs incurred when implementing the policies to curb, prevent and control drug consumption.

Drug trafficking concerning rapid social, economic, and technological changes and the present age characteristics influences families and communities (Giommoni, Aziani & Berlusconi, 2017). Family disintegration has been related to substance abuse problems. The study carried out by UNRISD on Mexico indicates that illicit drug abuses are related strongly to family disintegration compared with poverty. This causes families to become dysfunctional and transforms from society assets into a burden or liability. Besides, peer groups have proven to be strongly influenced by drug abuse despite the powerful influence families have on shaping values, attitudes, and behavioral patterns among children. It has been noted that peer influence increases the moment parents step down or quit their traditional supervision roles. Some of the reasons for drug abuse include harsh discipline, traumatic or prolonged parental absence, parental use of drugs, and lack of communication on emotional levels (Garcia, 2008). Besides, household instability caused by unemployment and low income triggers stress on families, making them vulnerable to drug abuse and trafficking.

Generally, the existing body of knowledge has established a strong foundation on the effects of drug trafficking. The review has established the possible cause of drug trafficking and abuse, the impacts on people and communities’ health, social, economic, and political lives (Hajizadeh, 2016). Thus, past research has laid a basis on the consequences of drug abuse and trafficking. Still, there is a need for more research to be done on the cost-benefit, cross-national analyses on social, economic, and health aspects of trafficking, production, and consumption of drugs. In addition, the research has not identified the long-term intervention strategies to help reduce the impact of drug trafficking (Broséus et al., 2016). This is due to the nature of adaptive drug trafficking activities, which change and get smarter when subjected to laws. Therefore, policymakers need to get insight into the root cause of trafficking and identify the appropriate sustainable measures and interventions to combat drug trafficking.

Methodology and Data

Putting in mind the significant position of Europe in the global drug trade, the present analysis examines the impacts of drug trafficking using informed theoretical variables. To facilitate this study, a group sample of 20 students was used to identify the causes of drug abuse and trafficking. The sample included 8 girls and 12 boys of the age between 13 years and 26 years. I chose this young population since they are more vulnerable to drug abuse and related activities and are among the majority group affected by drug trafficking. Furthermore, most young people engage in drug trafficking due to different reasons that are not yet known.

The participants were chosen to be part of the study due to the following qualifications. 1) their ages range between 13-26 years, 2) they live within regions with drug industries, 3) they live in areas that illicit drugs are planted, 4) they have at least been victims of drug abuse and trafficking, and 5) either their friends or family members is linked to the government of drug trafficking activities. Besides, I interviewed the participants and has them fill open-ended questionnaires. From the interviews and questionnaires, I discovered that parents, poverty, and lack of employment are the most common causes of drug trafficking and abuse among young people. Some lack parental emotional care, the families, have low income hence poverty, and other children are treated harshly by their parents. The questionnaires were administered through online platforms, and most of the responses were the same, parents being the most mentioned in causing drug abuse. In addition, I used secondary sources such as government publications, public records, statistical records, and journals to achieve my research.

Results and Analysis

Several factors have influenced drug trafficking and abuse among the youth. The findings from this research have provided a direction to the discussion of the research topic. The data found was analyzed and interpreted to achieve the purpose of the study. Many young people are involved in drug trafficking due to poverty, lack of opportunities for social and economic well-being, and poor parental guidance. Young people engage in these activities to earn money and supplement their wages. Cases such as unemployment, dysfunctional social relationships, physical health problems, mental illness, and suicidal tendencies. In many cases, the severe impacts of drug trafficking and abuse lead to a cycle of damaged social and economic status. From the findings, the results were generalized in the table below.

Factor Probability in Percentage
Poverty 40%
Unemployment 30%
Peer Pressure 12%
Parental Absence 10%
Parental use of Drugs 8%


The table above shows the factors contributing to youth participation in drug trafficking and abuse and their probability of happening in terms of percentage. In general, poverty is the leading factor by approximately 40 percent, followed by unemployment, peer pressure, parental absence, and parental use of drugs with 30 percent, 12 percent, 10 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. This data has played a role in identifying the significant causes of drug trafficking among the youths. Through the results, it is easier to understand the main factors that lead to drug abuse and trafficking, thereby making it easier to find the best solution to the issues concerning drug trafficking

Conclusion and Discussion

Generally, drug trafficking is a transnational crime that has been spread beyond national borders, involving corruption and violation of government laws. However, it has become a deadly issue in the United States of America, affecting its economic, social, and political development. In addition, drug trafficking has led to drug abuse among many youths globally. This, however, has been contributed by poverty, unemployment, and lack of parental guidance, among others. As a result, youths have become the most vulnerable victims of drug trafficking and abuse over the past decades. Nations such as Peru, Colombia, and Mexico are among countries in the U.S that have been affected by drug trafficking. Besides, it continues to be a significant problem affecting the world today since efforts implemented to stop and prevent drug trafficking have not worked.

This research has looked into the causes and consequences of drug abuse and trafficking among youths. Also, it has brought out the impacts of drug trafficking on the social, economic, health, and political life of individuals. Policymakers, educators, communities, and the general public should put their efforts together to fight against drug trafficking. It is evident that drug trafficking is linked with corruption, which interrupts a nation’s economic stability. It is also associated with crime, violence, and politics in many developing countries. Governments need to establish improved strategies to fight drug trafficking, corruption, and organized crimes in the United States (Csete et al., 2016). Despite many costs spent by the U.S government, drug abuse and trafficking have continued to increase.

There must be strategies to reduce the demand for drugs. For instance, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission and other bodies such as treatment and rehabilitation of drug abuse and violence should be reinforced to assist governments in preventing drug and substance abuse. The governments should also increase the collaborative efforts to monitor money laundering and corruption. Besides, governments should also strengthen the targeted sanctions on drug traffickers. Furthermore, there is a need to increase sanctions on private and public individuals who engage in illicit activities. All these strategies will play a role in reducing the impact of drug abuse and trafficking.

Furthermore, there is a need to provide employment opportunities for young people, educate them on handling stress, and give advice to those children with parental issues (Dastoor et al., 2020). Parents also need to be educated and informed on how they can handle their children better that will not trigger their children to enter into drug abuse and trafficking. Finally, further research is needed to be done on the relationship between corruption and drug trafficking. Despite the many efforts put on the front line by different governments, corruption remains a leading factor that stimulates drug trafficking.

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