Drug addiction has never been a widespread problem in Mexico. But these days, the country is dealing with an unprecedented epidemic of drug use that is partly a result of better U.S. border enforcement, reports USA Today. The new border fence and intensified patrols by both Mexican and U.S. federal agents have made it harder for Mexican cartels to get drugs into the USA. As a result, more narcotics remain in Mexico where they are sold to local consumers, says experts.
The number of new patients at Mexican treatment centers has more than quadrupled since 2000. The health ministry has announced plans to build 300 new rehab centers, triple the current total, to deal with the overflow. Mexican President Felipe Calderón warned last month that cartels are no longer just trying to get drugs to the USA, but generate consumers “here in Mexico who will buy them, and buy them for the rest of their lives.”