How Border Towns Suffer from Prescription Drug Trafficking

Mexico–America Border

If you’re a prescription pill addict, supporting your habit is tough. You have your drug dealers and people who get their drugs prescribed to them by doctors and then sell them to addicts. A more dangerous method has become prevalent in border towns and which further fuels the opiate epidemic.

People cross the border into Mexico to get pain pills and then bring them back across. This is one person’s experience of buying illicit drugs in Mexico after his addiction became too expensive to support in the US.

“I would cross into Mexico by walking across the border and there were always several pharmacies to choose from. There was a pharmacy on almost every corner. But I remember before I even went into a pharmacy, I was approached by another addict who I assumed was working with the pharmacy. He told me to follow him to get what I was looking for and he took me to a pharmacy. Once I got inside, they asked direct questions like ’Are you looking for Xanax?’ or ’Want to buy some Oxy’s?’ It seemed like the only requirement was looking like I was from America and had money for what I wanted.

“But I was wrong. There was a catch. The pharmacist told me after I told him what I wanted that he could not give it to me without a prescription. The guy who brought me to the pharmacy told me not to worry and he took me to a doctor’s office right next door. Within five minutes I had a script for what I wanted and just had to pay 5 dollars for the doctor’s visit. Of course, this wasn’t like a normal doctor visit. The doctor simply asked me ’Do you have anxiety?’ Once I said yes, he handed me a prescription for Xanax. It worked the same for hydrocodone. ’Are you experiencing pain?’ Say yes and he hands you a prescription.

“I asked the guy as I was leaving why he helped me find the pharmacy and he told me that when he brings someone in, he gets a cut of the sale so he can support his own habit.

“I started walking back towards the border, worried that I would get caught crossing back into the USA, but because I was an American citizen and looked presentable, the border patrol didn’t seem very interested in me. They seemed to be interested in finding people carrying large amounts of things and since I was walking and didn’t even have a backpack on, they pretty much wrote me off.

“After doing this for months I did finally get caught by border patrol. They found my script which was clearly for personal use. I just played stupid and acted like I didn’t know it wasn’t ok. They just took it from me and sent me on my way.

“I got lucky. The thing is that there is a lot of risk. I knew others who went down there and several were jumped and a few ended up with serious court cases. Luckily, I went to treatment and left that part of my life behind me.”



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.