Narcotics Prices Skyrocket
The War on Drugs appears to be yielding some results in South Texas, where reduced supplies on the streets have resulted in price spikes. Police say the street price of drugs like cocaine and marijuana has gone up by 50% just in the past couple of months. Galveston Police Chief Henry Paredo tells KTRH they are focused on cutting off the head of the snake when it comes to drug suppliers. "We're concentrating basically on the suppliers for information and then working our way up" the supply chain, he says.
One of the biggest sources of U.S. street drugs is the Mexican drug cartels, but their business model is also changing, which is resulting in fewer drugs from Mexico making it here. Author and professor George W. Grayson has written multiple books on the Mexican drug cartels. He tells KTRH the cartels aren't finding the U.S. market quite as lucrative. "The drugs coming in from Mexico are in fact, less expensive than some of the painkillers" already here. For instance, he points out that a gram of the prescription painkiller Oxycontin goes for double the price of a gram of black tar heroin from Mexico. In addition, the cartels are diversifying their drugs in order to stay a step ahead of law enforcement. "They are not just shipping cocaine or marijuana or methamphetamines, but they are also sending in more of the black tar heroin," Grayson says.
Ultimately, stopping the flow of drugs stops at square one. And that means making sure fewer of them are available, according to Chief Paredo. "The supply to the street dealers should be diminishing because we're making a targeted, concerted effort to cut off supply." That includes collaborating with police on the UTMB campus and embedding undercover officers in the heavy tourist areas on Galveston Island.