The United States has become a prescription drug fueled society. Millions of Americans take multiple prescription drugs every day in order to manage or treat various conditions. While some of these drugs are mild and doubtlessly save lives, many others have dangerous side effects or are habit-forming. In fact, prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest-growing categories of drug abuse in the country today. Much of this abuse centers around prescription painkillers, but many other types of prescription drugs can be abused as well.
One of the many reasons prescription drug abuse is dangerous is because it can lead to abusing other drugs that are even more dangerous. Every drug user eventually builds up a tolerance to the substance he is using, so prescription drug abusers will eventually find that their pain pills just aren’t cutting it anymore. In these situations, prescription drug abusers will often seek out heroin or other illegal drugs in order to feed their developing habits.
Even before an addiction progresses to this point, prescription drug users may find reasons to start breaking the law. Just one example of this is recent evidence that many prescription drugs are now being smuggled in from Mexico.
The High Cost of Prescription Drugs
One of the reasons that prescription drugs are being smuggled in from Mexico is because of the high cost of these drugs in the United States. Many Americans do not have health insurance, so the drugs they are prescribed come at very high costs. Even when Americans do have health insurance, the drugs can still be hard to buy. Across the border, however, it’s a different story. Prices in Mexico for the same prescription drugs can be a quarter the price of the American versions.
Knowing this, prescription drug users will travel across the border from southern states in order to buy these cheaper alternatives, and it’s perfectly legal to do so. Neither the users nor the pharmacies that sell to them are doing anything wrong. This doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea, however.
Dangers of Buying South of the Border
For many years, Americans could travel to Mexico with little fear of there being any danger in doing so. In recent years, however, Mexican drug cartels have made the areas close to the border dangerous for many travelers. These incidents of bloodshed and kidnappings have made it more dangerous to travel to Mexico, so prescription drug users that would travel to buy cheaper drugs may want to think twice before doing so.
Another danger of going to Mexico for prescription drugs is that many people have noticed this could be a good way to make a profit. While pharmacies usually sell the real thing, less reputable merchants with a basic understanding of chemistry are creating their own homemade versions of prescription drugs and selling them to the American travelers. Doctors in America have noticed that patients taking these homemade concoctions are having dangerous side effects. It simply not safe to buy drugs that might not be the real thing when even the real thing can be dangerous in itself.
Some travelers are even buying prescription drugs in bulk and then reselling them to friends and strangers alike back in the states. Not only can this compound the dangers already described, it’s also illegal to do this in the eyes the United States government. American citizens trying to do this could be charged with drug trafficking and other drug-related crimes. While it’s not ideal that prescription drugs are so expensive the United States, it’s simply not a good idea to try to get them in Mexico, either.
Marketplace.org: Desperate patients smuggle prescription drugs from Mexico http://www.marketplace.org/topics/health-care/desperate-patients-smuggle-prescription-drugs-mexico