Us Virgin Islands Drug Rehabs

The US Virgin Islands, and other islands in the Caribbean, have become a popular port for the transportation of cocaine from South America to the United States.

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US Virgin Islands Addiction Treatment

Drug traffickers have used the US Virgin Islands (USVI) as means of transporting drugs, especially cocaine, from South America to South Florida. It is speculated that the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Virgin Islands (along with the rest of the Eastern Caribbean) move 60 metric tons of cocaine into the US combined every year. The US Virgin Islands sees the most cocaine per capita flow through their territory, with over 100 grams for each resident.

Naturally, the presence of illicit drugs makes for a network of users. While the amount that stays in the Virgin Islands is a fraction of what is then moved on to other ports, the DEA has determined that cocaine is still the principal threat to the US Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean.

Cocaine Trafficking In The US Virgin Islands

Though many view the Caribbean as a place of free-flowing marijuana, in truth the most commonplace drug is cocaine. The US Virgin Islands has become a popular place to move cocaine, given its location between South and North America. Travel by speed boats, large ships, and even by planes have made the transportation of large quantities of cocaine easy along the Caribbean islands.

Despite the popularity of the Central America-Mexico Route for cocaine trafficking, transportation through the Caribbean has grown in popularity. In 2013, 16% of the United States’ cocaine imports came through the Caribbean-South Florida Route.

60

tons

The Eastern Caribbean islands move 60 metric tons of cocaine every year.

16

percent

In 2013, 16% of the United States’ cocaine imports came through the Caribbean.

52

murder rate

The United States Virgin Islands has a murder rate of 52.64 out of every 100,000 people.

Deaths By Cocaine In The US Virgin Islands

While the majority of drug-related deaths in the Caribbean are due to cocaine, the death rate is well below the global average. However, the homicide rate, one of the highest in the world, is partially attributed to organized crime and cocaine trafficking.

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Drug Laws In The US Virgin Islands

Despite how dangerous the drug can be, cocaine is still a Schedule II drug as determined by the US government. Marijuana, on the other hand, is categorized as a Schedule I drug. So, not only is it the most popular drug, after alcohol, but it also carries heavier laws.

Though there have been votes in the US Virgin Islands to legalize medical marijuana, alcohol is still the most common legal recreational drug in the territory. Like much of the U.S., this makes alcohol abuse the most prevalent substance abuse issue across the US Virgin Islands.

Possession

1 oz or less — No jail time — $200 fine

More the 1 oz as first offense — 1 year — $5,000

More than 1 oz after first offense — 2 years — $10,000

Distribution

First offense — 5 years — $ 15,000

After first offense — 10 years — $30,000

First offense dealing to minor — 15 years — $60,000

Subsequent dealing to minor — 30 years — $90.000

Distributing 50 – 200 lbs. — 3 years minimum — $25,000

Distributing 201 – 1000 lbs. — 5 years minimum — $50,000

Distributing more than 1000 lbs. — 15 years minimum — $200,000

Hash and Concentrates

Trafficking 1 – 10 lbs. — 3 years minimum — $25,000

Trafficking 10 – 100 lbs. — 5 years minimum — $50,000

Trafficking more than 100 lbs. — 15 years minimum — $200,000

The United States Virgin Islands’ Hurricane Recovery

In late 2017, much of the Caribbean was devastated by hurricanes; this included the USVI. They’ve come far in their recovery, however building their territory back up has become a chief concern. This makes the USVI’s already limited help in addiction recovery even more strained.

Treatment Centers In The Virgin Islands’

Given the United States Virgin Islands’ limited size, there aren’t many local recovery options. Luckily, there are many other options for recovery on the mainland. If you believe that you or someone you know require help overcoming addiction, consider changing your scenery and speak with a treatment provider.

Published:

Author

Jeffrey Juergens

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  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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