top of page
  • Writer's pictureNilima

What is drug trafficking?

People are usually confused when there is any news on drug trafficking. This set of people have been away from the internet or those who have not taken time to read any drug-trafficking related article. It would be nice to start by defining what drugs are when we are using in them in drug trafficking. You cannot possibly take it that a headline about drug trafficking would on any ground contain that what is being traded are medications for managing specific ailment. Hence, the need to define harmful or illicit drugs is very important.


It would be best to shed light on what drugs are before taking a journey through how it is being traded. In the simplest term, drugs are substances that are exposed to the human body in order to elicit pharmacological actions. It is the pharmacological actions of drugs that determines how it affects the human body; for instance, if an individual takes paracetamol, then what would be expected is that it should treat headache or pyrexia. However, there is always an explainable pharmacological action that would lead to the antipyretic properties of paracetamol as the analgesia.

Depending on what purpose you are employing a drug for, the pharmacological action is always a consideration. That is one of the factors that become relevant to what type of drug we are dealing with. For example, when drug trafficking is the topic of discussion, then the kind of drugs we are looking at is considered illegal. Some prefer that you refer to those drugs as illicit since the problem is not that they are invalid but are not approved by the law. Their effects are not predictable as it has been reported by professionals whose job is to handle the drug. The fact that these class of medication cannot be predicted pharmacologically allow them to be dangerous on users of the drug. Most of these drugs are active in the pathways of the central nervous system, and examples are cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD etc.

Definition of drug trafficking

The best and the most acceptable way you can define drug trafficking is by considering the act as holistic rather than apart. It can be defined in the simplest way as any trade that involves the synthesis, cultivation, manufacture, compounding, distribution and sale of harmful or illicit substances, which the law does not approve. It is a global problem that several countries have been facing. Different countries have measures by which they employ to reduce drug trafficking.

Significant challenges or problems from drug trafficking

One of the significant consequences of drug trafficking is a high mortality rate, and it is a factor of getting more than what should be consumed over a while. For instance, several drug abusers get addicted in the long run, and it is just a matter of time before they experience tolerance. There is always a chance that when they need a higher dose to feel high, any dangerous effect might ensue from the body functions. Several people have suffered irreparable physiological deformation from drug abuse. Drug traffickers are the central problem of drug abusers since they make a considerable amount from trading drugs and would not consider giving up easily. Out of the population of patients in a psychiatric hospital, a reasonable percentage has substance abuse patients who are being managed with anti-psychotics due to the effect of an illicit drug on their mental health.


One of the challenges or threat that drug trafficking has brought to our society is criminal activities. Drug trafficking has been reported to be one of the leading causes of criminal activities. This is because they make so much money from trading illicit drugs and make use of the profit to purchase firearms for illegal use.

Drug trafficking in law

People often use the phrase ‘’drug trafficking’’ and ‘’drug dealing’’ interchangeably, andthey are not synonyms for one another since the meaning they have is different from one another. Drug dealing is like the micro type of drug trafficking; you would be considered suitable if you are defining drug dealing as when a person trades in drug distribution on a small scale, but for drug trafficking, it is usually a global form of drug distribution.

Different countries have different approach to dealing with drug dealers or traffickers; usually, what is general to most countries of the world is that the punishments for drug trafficking are always based on the amount of drug found with the accused. Contrary to what people used to think that manufacturing or synthesizing drugs makes a fellow guilty of drug trafficking, it could be that you are in the business of distributing illicit drugs. It has been spelt out in the definition of drug trafficking that it covers a wide range of activities around illegal drugs.

The issue of drug trafficking has always been defined as a crime of weight and measurement, and it goes beyond finding the drug in your possession before any law enforcer would accuse of the crime of drug trafficking. There must be proof that you possess any form of illicit or harmful drugs intentionally; this cancels out any scenario of unawareness of the fact that you have the drug in possession. Different states have different punishments for drug trafficking, and you must have an idea of what the law states.

Penalties for drug trafficking

There are different punishment ranging from corporal to capital punishment. You would most likely not find capital punishment as the penalty for drug trafficking in western states, but it is common in the middle-eastern states. The common forms of non-capital punishment would be stated briefly. For example, a person could be found guilty of the crime of drug trafficking and be either sentenced to prison or to pay a certain amount of money.

1. Fines

A fellow can be asked to pay a certain amount of money as punishment for drug trafficking. It is the usual penalty if the amount of drug found is not sizeable enough to consider sentencing. Depending on how serious it is, anyone convicted of the crime might be asked to pay thousands of dollars or millions. Especially in the case of federal drug trafficking events, anyone convicted might have to pay a considerable amount as fines.

2. Jail or Prison

Depending on the weight of the drug that a trafficker has been found with, there is a possibility that the judge would pass a certain period of jail term on offenders. It could be up to 10 years or life imprisonment, depending on the situation around drug trafficking.

What should be done if accused of drug trafficking?

Several people don’t have an idea of what to do if they are being accused of drug trafficking. In any country of the world, drug trafficking ranks high among the crimes that a person could commit, and it is never taken lightly. The best behaviour to maintain if you are accused of drug trafficking is getting a lawyer, not any lawyer but the one experienced in the crime. You would need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible andensure that you don’t utter any implicating words. If possible, you don’t say anything except that you want to see your lawyer.

29 views0 comments


bottom of page