Drugs and Human Trafficking, Ingredients don’t Mix Well
The abuse and addiction to substances like alcohol, cocaine, and opioids is continuing to rise in the United States. According to the Addiction Center, almost 21 million Americans have reported at least one addiction but only 10 percent receive treatment(Addiction Statistics – Facts On Drug And Alcohol Use). This statistic is surprising but also alarming the longer I think about it. How could this many people in America be impacted by substances that are illegal? Is it really this easy to obtain these illegal substances? Unfortunately the answer to that question is a yes. With this many people being affected by substances, this could affect a person’s way of life.
The abuse of these substances not only harms a person’s body but also could potentially put them into very dangerous situations. Human traffickers can manipulate substance users to offer their bodies for drugs in return. Human trafficking is a crime that is steadily getting more national awareness due to the fact cases of human trafficking are increasing. According to the DHS, millions of men, women and children are trafficked throughout the world(What Is Human Trafficking? | Homeland Security). Substance abuse and human trafficking probably doesn’t seem like they have a high correlation with each other but statistically they have a strong relationship. According to Polaris Project, from January of 2015 through June of 2017 926 potential victims of human trafficking had a history of abusing drugs. Polaris Project also stated nearly 15 percent of victims of human trafficking had substance abuse issues(Human Trafficking and the Opioid Crisis | Polaris Project). Human traffickers don’t just lure their victims in with substances, they continue to provide substances to the victims to keep them out of their natural state of mind. Administration for Children and Families wrote, 84.3 percent of substance users who were involved in sex trafficking used to cope with the pain they were going through, while 27.9 percent said they were forced to do drugs by their human traffickers(Supporting Individuals at the Intersection of Human Trafficking and Substance Use | The Administration for Children and Families.). Abusing substances can affect a person mentally and physically but it could change a person’s life.
The intersectional relationship between substance abuse and human traffic is prominent. The best way to prevent the more potential victims of human trafficking is by raising awareness. The stigma associated with substance use typically prevents users from seeking help, so when a person wants to admit they have an addiction don’t shame them, confide with them and direct them to the right help. The road to successful treatment of substance abuse is hard and path nobody should go down alone. Local organizations and nonprofit organizations like ASAAP happily help a person with their journey to being treated for substance abuse. To get in contact with ASAAP, you can visit the location at 835 South Burlington, Building #114 or give us a call at (402)463-0524.