However, the DOJ-DEA 2014 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary notes that cocaine availability “remains stable at historically low levels throughout most domestic markets along the East Coast.” So users are switching to heroin, but not switching to cocaine from prescription narcotics. Hmmm. Might this be because we have no large military-CIA presence currently in cocaine-trafficking areas, as we did during the 1980s Contra war in Nicaragua, when cocaine use was at high levels? (Coca leaves are only grown in Latin America.) According to a 2010 UN document, “Based on seizure figures, it appears that cocaine markets grew most dramatically during the 1980s, when the amounts seized increased by more than 40% per year”. (See this 1987 Senate hearing and this for evidence of CIA and State Dept. connivance with cocaine trafficking by the Contras.)
You can frame stories about the current heroin problem in many ways. But the real heroin story isn’t being discussed–which is that since the US military entered Afghanistan in 2001, its opium production doubled, per the UN Afghanistan Opium Survey, 2014 , p.34. The area under opium cultivation in Afghanistan tripled. And the resulting heroin appears to more easily make its way deep into our rural, as well as urban communities.