"The recent rise in heroin use in the United States has raised concerns among U.S. policymakers that more may need to be done to address opium poppy cultivation and heroin production at their foreign sources. The number of individuals in the United States aged 12 or older currently using heroin (435,000 in 2014) has nearly tripled since 2002. Additionally, U.S. heroin overdose death rates have more than tripled since 2010. According to the State Department: 'Unless countries that are sources of production put resources towards fighting these illicit crops and those responsible for their spread, heroin and opioids will continue to fuel corruption, lawlessness, and public health crises worldwide.' Role of Mexico as a U.S. Illicit Drug Supplier Mexico is the main supplier to the U.S. market of heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Most heroin consumed in the United States is produced from opium poppies grown in Mexico. The opium poppies are processed in Mexico into heroin, trafficked by Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), and distributed by the TCOs or their affiliates in the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also has identified Mexico as the primary supplier of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid stronger than heroin that has been linked to increasing numbers of overdoses in the United States. In addition, Mexico remains a major transit country for cocaine arriving in the United States."
CRS Insight, IN10456
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html