American illicit drug supply routes are so well established that practically any person can obtain most types of drugs in nearly every area of the country. This is true of both urban and rural areas, with drug availability and distribution lines being networked easily between cities and towns nationwide. In fact, in some cases rural areas are even more connected than urban areas. Consider the state of Maine's problem with heroin and illegal prescription drugs (considered the worst in the country), and Vermont's problem with high-potency marijuana. Whatever the drug and whatever the location, drug supply routes in the US are strong and should be examined in order to understand how significant the demand for illicit drugs really is.

There are three primary ways that drugs are brought into and distributed around the US: by plane, by ship and by ground transport. There are around 2 million known routes according to the National Drug Intelligence Center, although these routes constantly change in response to pressure from law enforcement. Overall the total number of routes – both known and unknown – may number as many as ten million. The vast majority of these routes are over land, with a small percentage by sea or air.

Mexico is the largest supplier of cocaine not only into the United States, but also into Europe. This means that Mexico is well connected to Caribbean countries and other jumping-off points from which to stage operations. Some of the Mexican cocaine is routed to the US via flights to Florida and Texas, while some is carried aboard many different types of craft. However, it is the large and difficult to protect Mexican/American border that is the source of most overland drug routes of Mexican cocaine. These routes extend into California and Texas, where the shipments are broken down and then shipped to the interiors of the country.

Canadian high potency marijuana has turned a large portion of the northern US border into a drug smuggling corridor. These routes extend from the northern states and down into Chicago and New York City. Small towns and cities along the way are points of further distribution, with so called "high grade" marijuana being available in even very remote and rural areas.

Despite extensive efforts against the drug trade, Florida is a primary source of trafficking routes. Heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines are smuggled into the state, taking advantage of thousands of miles of coastline. The drugs are distributed in cities like Miami and Orlando, then carried further north into Georgia and the Carolinas.

The interior of the country is riddled with drug supply routes, but the 2006 National Drug Threat Assessment found that there are only 3 major corridors that are strictly interior. This includes drugs smuggled into the Gulf of Mexico and distributed to the southern states, drugs originating in California and being distributed east across the northern states, and drugs originating in California and extending in a distribution line across the middle and southern states.

Because eradication efforts only focus on the supply and not the demand, it's likely that these drug supply routes will remain in perpetuity. Addiction is a powerful force that is not generally concerned with consequences, yet the consequences are meted out often and severely.

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Author's Bio: 

Rick worked as a professional writer and editor for nearly a quarter century before getting involved in internet marketing via article marketing.