Drug and Human Trafficking Is a Global Pandemic, States President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

. Drug trafficking and human trafficking are on the rise, constituting a severe threat to our children, according to an article by Sheila Page, D.O., in the spring issue of Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Page specializes in neuromusculoskeletal medicine and serves as president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

She states that the drug smuggling economy involves a record $20 billion dollars. Unprecedented amounts of illicit drugs like fentanyl are brought across our southern border, citing reports that last year more than 11,000 pounds of illicit fentanyl were seized at the San Diego crossing, twice as much as in 2020.

"According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 4,777 youth aged 15-24 died of an overdose of illicit drugs in 2019. American youth abusing illicit drugs has become common. By the time they are in 12th grade, 46.6% of teens have tried illicit drugs, and 21.3% of eighth graders have tried illicit drugs at least once. Because the majority of fentanyl deaths are accidental (fewer than 1% are suicides), this suggests that young people are unaware of the risk they are taking," she writes.

Human trafficking is gaining more media attention, Dr. Page writes. According to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) more than 521,000 missing person reports were filed in 2021. After files were purged, more than 39,000 active files remained of juveniles, most of whom were classified as runaways.

Dr. Page asks: "What happened to those tens of thousands of children reported missing who were never found?"

"In 2014, Australian authorities estimated 80,000 children had been trafficked for rape and torture to produce videos and images hosted on internet servers, the majority of which were based in the U.S."

Social media sites are a common place for children to interact with both drug dealers and sexual predators, Dr. Page notes, observing that "safeguards in electronic devices can be readily bypassed."

"Drug dealers and human traffickers are effectively waging war on our children," she concludes. 

"Just recently, Operation Reclaim and Rebuild in California resulted in the arrest of 368 people and the rescue of 131 victims, including six juveniles."

"It is encouraging to see these reports, but at the same time troubling that there are so many cases."

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

Source: Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)