Drug Abuse Among Migrant Workers


In developing countries, migration plays an important role. Moreover, it is now an inherent part of the market economy. Migration processes are characterized by a variety of contentious issues that can be interpreted both positively and negatively. One of the most negative consequences of migration is the use and promotion of drugs. Central Valley, with advantageous for migrants geographical and economic situation, experiences the harm of drug addiction among labor migrants today.


Migrants come to the Central Valley to earn money because their countries do not have enough economic development to higher wages. At the same time, migrants are aware of the high speeds of drugs and go to California. Coming to a new place of employment, migrants tend to become members of criminal gangs on the traffic of drugs or fall into drug addiction. Drug trafficking organizations are aimed at newcomers for two reasons. Firstly, they have a large number of potential new customers who can easily become addicted. Secondly, migrants are an excellent workforce that is able to sell drugs where the need is. Dens have become an integral part of the residential areas in central California. Storage areas, warehouses in the cities and in the outsides areas are very widespread. With the help of migrants, drug trafficking organizations sell drugs across the state, as well as find their new customers in the face of working newcomers.

Central Valley is exposed to drug trafficking because of the migrants who arrived mainly from Mexico. Getting a job, migrants have access to drugs, thereby starting to abuse them. The most common drugs in the Central Valley is methamphetamine, cannabis, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. The production capacity of these drugs are located in the Central Valley and is fully controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations, which represent the most significant drug threat in the region. Migrants from Mexico often create organized criminal groups that maintain business relations with Mexican drug organizations. Working together, they can conduct the full operation of production, delivery, and sale of drugs in large quantities. At the same time, demand for cannabis and cocaine grows steadily. Hernandez wrote: For a while he cooked C, only because it was easy to make and sold like hotcakes. The decline in wholesale prices for cocaine shipments and increased seizures of illicit drugs indicates that the presence of cocaine among migrants is increasing constantly. The main negative consequence of migrants is not their addiction but belonging to criminal gangs that are involved in the drug trade.

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The state tries to get rid of this problem, but a lot of time and money needed to do so. Financial revenues from the budget, in order to treat or prevent addiction, remain high, especially since 2009. California Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction said that methamphetamine is the most common drug among migrant workers. 40% of all migrants-addicts use this drug. Marijuana, being second after methamphetamine, is also addictive. However, it is much easier to treat addiction on marijuana than addiction on methamphetamine. Cocaine, being in third place after cannabis, also distributed throughout the Central Valley, but with a lesser degree. It is assumed that this drug is too expensive for migrant workers and they prefer a cheaper methamphetamine or marijuana.

The situation is aggravated by another factor. Migrant workers who come from other countries and have access to drugs eventually realize that they need treatment. Reception centers for the treatment of drug addicts are no longer able to accommodate so many people physically. From 2004 to 2009, the number in need of treatment has doubled. Moreover, in order to cure the addiction, doctors use strong means Oxycodone, which can also be regarded as a drug. This substance is able to induce a new addiction if not to use it properly. According to its properties, it is similar to heroin and excreted from the body much longer than many soft drugs. This exacerbates the whole situation. In other words, treatment for drug addiction in the Central Valley is poorly effective, especially among migrant workers.

Once migrant workers have become involved in drug trafficking, most often, they abandon their original job and prefer to cooperate fully with the drug trafficking organizations. This is due to the following factors. First, workers who chose to work in drug trafficking are addicted as a rule. Cooperation with manufacturers and suppliers of drugs provides them with easy access to drugs, which often play the role of wages. Secondly, migrants arrive in the Central Valley to work primarily on the physically hard work (agricultural sector). The drug trade is an easy job, so often migrants prefer it. Third, drug trafficking organizations often offer favorable conditions for cooperation, attracting migrants with higher wages and access to any drugs. As Hernandez wrote, As for Arturin, he stayed in the streets doing what he did best. Hustling. This quote reflects reality, when a migrant worker sells drugs, instead of an honest legal and safe work.

Migrant workers, being involved in drug trafficking or being addicted, also have a negative impact on the crime rate. High turnover among methamphetamine addicts leads to violent crimes, thefts, beatings in Central America. Methamphetamine is the primary drug, addiction of which often causes an increase in crime in the region. Most cases of assault, invasion of private property, and murders are due to fights of drug trafficking organizations. Migrants are accomplices of such incidents in 8 out of 10 of these cases. Moreover, the work of migrant workers in the agricultural sector contributes to the illicit cultivation of cannabis outdoors. Suitable climate and growing conditions, a sufficient amount of sun and water contribute to a large crop of marijuana. The cultivation of cannabis has become one of the main types of employment for immigrants. Being dependent, they can also play the role of anonymous sellers or drug dealers. Drug trafficking organizations use this approach to improve reliability and increase stealth. The law enforcement agencies have to establish surveillance of these dealers, as other investigative methods are poorly effective in this case.

As already mentioned, the Central Valley suffers from a proliferation of several types of drugs: methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. The situation is compounded by the fact that many addicts use several types of drugs for different reasons. For example, to enhance the impact of the drug effect (e.g., marijuana is used after taking methamphetamine, or after cocaine). Hernandez wrote: The guys will arrive ten minutes late. Most likely theyll be stoned out of their minds. When they pull to the curb, a thread of herb will pour into your nostrils, and by the time youre in the back seat youll be wearing the same stupid grin. When Zeta passes you the forty, throw it back into your mouth and let the gold liquid seep its way down your throat. This leads to several consequences at once. First, damage to the body. The use of several types of drugs at the same time leads to disturbances of the nervous system, metabolic disorders of the process, and so on. The second consequence leads to an economic sense. Drug users who become accustomed to this method of use are forced to buy more than one drug instead of one. Therefore, this kind of addiction is an incentive for the development of drug trafficking.

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A special word should be said about HIV / AIDS among migrant workers. The use of drugs, especially heroin and methamphetamine, leads to increased risk of infection of the above diseases. The dependence of migrant workers has a negative impact on not only the health of American society but also the health of their homeland. For example, a migrant worker from Mexico who came to California for the purpose of employment, become a drug addict and has increased the risk of HIV / AIDS infection. Therefore, he becomes a source of contamination and spread of infection, and he continues to spread the virus after his return to Mexico. This chain reaction is obvious, and studies show that its effectiveness will only increase in the near future.

To summarize, drug addiction among migrant workers in the Central Valley is the result of several factors. The main reason is the favorable geographical location of California. Its climate allows growing marijuana and cannabis. In addition, its proximity to Mexico, where the majority of migrants come, also plays an important role. The second reason is hard work in the agricultural industry. Migrant workers have to work hard to earn money. Therefore, they often either prefer to work with drug dealers or become addicted to making everyday work more varied. In any case, the trend is not encouraging. Experts predict that drug trafficking will only increase in the coming years. Therefore, the government should take drastic measures to get rid of the problem. Otherwise, drug addicts will cause more problems than now. The spread of infections, increase in crime and death, financial loss on treatment and prevention are only the priority effects of this issue.

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