Drug cartels profiting from Oklahomans’ opioid addiction

Drug cartels profiting from Oklahomans’ opioid addiction

It is well-known that opioid crisis has hit almost every state in the United States, including Oklahoma. One of the major reasons behind the widespread availability of opioids is increased drug trafficking by drug cartels. Recent reports reveal that Oklahoma ranks first in prescription drug abuse among all states. It also holds the highest number of people aged 12 and above using prescription drugs for non medical reasons. After a spate of confiscation of drug proceeds and illicit drugs in Tulsa, the local police based on its findings stated that the city is getting its all heroin supply from the Mexican cartels that entered the market to fill the demand for narcotics and painkillers.

The police has also estimated that the cartels are supplying 24 kilograms of heroin per month and earning approximately $18.7 million from its annual sales in the Tulsa market. The price of per kilogram of heroin varies between $65,000 to about $72,500. Capt. Mark Wollmershauser from the Tulsa Police confirmed that up to six cartel cells are operating in Tulsa. Out of these, three cartel cells are a part of the much larger Sinaloa cartel were targeted by Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputies. These cartels were found to be generating around $218,000 in sales per week, or about $11.3 million per year.

Cartel cells trying to expand in other regions

While it is known that the Oklahoma’s cartel cells are largely based in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, there have been attempts by these cells to expand into Bartlesville. The cartels started operating in Tulsa around six years back and since then there has been no looking back. With the threat of such drug cartels hovering around town on all size and shapes, the need for intensifying cross-border surveillance and monitoring has increased massively.

As compared to the other drugs, the demand for heroin is comparatively high due to its relatively lower cost and stringent action against the overprescription of narcotic drugs. Reiterating the main problem, Capt. Wollmershauser said, “It is solely about supply and demand. The demand here is extremely high.”

Describing the gaps in the system, he further said, the Tulsa Police is not trying enough to fight against the problem, despite this being their primary responsibility. However, they established a Narcan program in 2014. Under this program, the officials were equipped with naloxone, an effective treatment for opiate and opioid overdoses. Since its establishment, the program has been used for over 50 times by the Tulsa police officers.

To fight against this growing trouble, they plan to working in cooperation with other agencies and legislatures of the state, as recommended by President Donald Trump. A commission was also created by the Attorney General Mike Hunter and Oklahoma lawmakers in Apr. 2017 to create a framework to strengthen the state’s response to opioid crisis. Some of the effective measures emphasized by the law-enforcement agencies include educating parents about opioid addiction, training pharmacists about the ways to identify addiction and pharmaceutical diversion, etc.

Taking preventive steps can help

Addiction is not the end of life. There is always a way to fight against it. It is essential finding an experienced medical professional who can guide a person suffering from opioid abuse about the best possible treatment plan. The first step to attain recovery begins with a well-planned detox program. Undergoing a detox program is important to cleanse one’s body of all the unwanted substances and make it easier to follow the path designed to attain recovery.

After the successful completion of the detox program, one is able to undergo other steps of the treatment like medications, therapies, self-help groups, etc. quite effectively. All this would completely depend on the concerned individual’s state of health and mind. It is important to understand that detox should never be ignored and must be included in every treatment plan.

If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids or any other form of drugs and is looking for rapid detox centers in the U.S., contact the Rapid Detox Helpline for assistance. Call at our 24/7 detox and treatment helpline 866-403-5591 or chat online with one of our experts to connect with the center offering a comprehensive detox treatment to ensure early recovery.