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By the 1830s the most successful drug-pushers in the world weren’t Mexican bandits or Afghan warlords but the British. Andrew Marr’s History of the World VII: Age of Industry, BBC 2012
Cocaine is a global business. From coca farmers in Colombia to trafficking cartels in Mexico to crack-slingers in Miami to cocaine dealers in London – the supply chain of cocaine reaches around our world. To some, cocaine is a way of life. Drugs Inc s1e1: Cocaine, National Geographic 2010
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that produces feelings of intense pleasure and well-being. Cocaine is used in two main forms: cocaine powder is snorted ... Crack cocaine is sold in rock form and smoked. ibid.
Crack cocaine first emerged in 1984. Up until then cocaine costing $100 a gram was seen as a drug that was the preserve of the rich. Crack revolutionised the cocaine business, offering a cheap yet intensely powerful high for only $5. ibid.
The ongoing violence in Mexico has little effect on the business of drugs incorporated. Every year fifty-one billion dollars’ worth of cocaine floods across the border into the US. The Mexican cartels purchase their cocaine from the South American country of Colombia. ibid.
Methamphetamine besets America and much of the world. It can be injected, smoked or snorted. And one hit can keep a user high for as long as eight hours. More addictive than cocaine or alcohol – Meth locks users into a devastating cycle. Drugs Inc s1e2: Crystal Meth
LA the mid-1990s: a new product appears on the streets – crystalline Methamphetamine. High potent, longer lasting and cheaper than crack cocaine it is instantly popular. ibid.
Large Mexican drug trafficking organisations have begun producing Methamphetamine on an industrial scale. ibid.
Almost 1,500 Meth labs were discovered in Missouri last year. ibid.
As the mind deteriorates so does the body. The most dramatic physical symptom of Meth abuse is a condition known as Meth mouth. Users grind their teeth. The chemicals wear away the enamel. And the gums and salivary glands dry out. All this causes teeth to rot and decay. Long-term users also become fearful and violent. ibid.
Producers, traffickers, dealers, users: they are part of a $300 billion a year global industry. Drugs Inc s1e3: Heroin
Nearly a quarter of all people who try the drug eventually become addicted. ibid.
Insight [Vancouver] – a government-run facility that provides users with clean needles and a safe place to shoot up. ibid.
Afghanistan ... Two million people across the country are involved in the cultivation of opium. More than 70% of the world’s heroin originates in Afghanistan. ibid.
Switzerland ... Free heroin for addicts who meet the criteria, prescribed by doctors care of the taxpayer. ibid.
Cannabis is the most widely used drug on the planet. To many it’s an evil weed. To some it’s a sacred herb. To others it’s literally a life-saver. For decades the global supply of cannabis has been controlled by ruthless criminals. But now there’s a quasi-legal industry worth billions of dollars, and business is booming. Drugs Inc s1e4: Marijuana
Cannabis contains a complex mixture of sixty active compounds known as cannabinoids. ibid.
More than a million tourists a year travel to Amsterdam to smoke cannabis in the city’s two hundred and thirty-four coffee shops. ibid.
Cannabis farmers don’t take holidays. ibid.
Cannabis is now California’s biggest cash crop. ibid.
Seventy years of prohibition has failed to stamp out cannabis production, and has lined the pockets of the world’s most ruthless criminals. ibid.
Smoked or injected the euphoric high enslaves addicts. Users and the communities it infects pay a terrible price. Drugs Inc s2e1: Crack
When smoked it hits the brain in seconds giving the user an intense high. ibid.
Crack gets its names from the crackling sound it makes when smoked. ibid.
The black market in crack cocaine is estimated to be worth at least $80 billion. ibid.
Other addicts steal to pay their dealer. ibid.
Cocaine production has devastated the natural environment. ibid.
Peru is the world’s biggest producer of coca leaves. ibid.
Paco [paste] produces a powerful and addictive high when smoked ... Dubbed poor man’s Crack, Paco is a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. ibid.
Paco addiction has spread like wildfire across South America in the last decade. ibid.
The further north it travels the more expensive it becomes. ibid.
Hash: one of the most widely used drugs in the world today. To some, the devil’s candy, to others, the key to financial survival. And to a few, a lifeline offering refuge from pain when conventional medicine fails. Drugs Inc s2e2: Hash
Morocco’s output has never been higher. The hash trade nets nearly $11 billion a year and provides a livelihood for around 800,000 people. ibid.
Pure pollen out [of] the flower: it’s the best thing you can smoke. ibid.
Demand for hash was lower in the United States than in Europe. ibid.
It was the drug that took the ’90s’ club scene by storm. For many users ecstasy remains the ultimate love drug. Yet organised drug gangs would kill for it. Drugs Inc s2e3: Ecstasy
The active ingredient in ecstasy is MDMA. ibid.
Many users say the high starts with rushes of exhilaration and tingling sensations like butterflies. ibid.
Dehydration and overheating – the main cause of ecstasy casualties. ibid.
Ecstasy is also known as the love drug. ibid.