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.
The Eastern Caribbean islands move 60 metric tons of cocaine every year.
In 2013, 16% of the United States’ cocaine imports came through the Caribbean.
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.
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
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.