The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) managed to highlight 20 years of their own abject failure to enforce federal drug laws with a single tweet Tuesday.
“Today’s heroin at the retail level costs less & is more potent than the heroin that DEA encountered two decades ago,” the agency declared on Twitter. The DEA also linked to a Department of Justice document on America’s “heroin epidemic.”
Today’s heroin at the retail level costs less & is more potent than the heroin that DEA encountered two decades ago. https://t.co/4cWaINTPdw
— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) March 22, 2016
Despite decades of seizures, raids, community work, and billions of tax payer dollars, the DEA admits that heroin being sold in the US is cheaper and stronger than it was 20 years ago.
“The government arrested tens of millions of people and wasted more than a trillion dollars yet drugs are still cheap, potent, and readily available in every community,” said Bill Piper, Senior Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.
“It is good that the DEA is admitting that supply side efforts have failed; would be even better if they admitted that they have done more harm to communities than the drugs themselves.”
According to the DEA, drug overdoses eclipse deaths from car crashes and firearms, accounting for more then 47,000 deaths in 2014 or approximately 129 per day. More than half of these overdoses involved the use of heroin of a prescription opiod.
The number of people who used heroin at least once over the course of the year jumped from 373,000 in 2007 to 914,000 in 2014. Most of the heroin that ends up in the US originates in Mexico and Colombia.
The past several years have seen increased cultivation and heroin production, with a subsequent rise in trafficking from Mexico to the US, says the DEA.
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