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Although a lot of businesses and jobs have been put on hold because of the coronavirus crisis, the world drug trade hasn’t stopped because of the pandemic and neither have the police. In 2020, Pennsylvania State Police have been staying busy and have a lot to show for it.

2019 vs. 2020 Pennsylvania Drug Seizures

Reports on first quarter 2020 drug seizures in Pennsylvania claim that the state has confiscated $111,046,058 worth of drugs in three short months.1 Theses drugs include a variety of illicit substances, including cocaine, which has the largest cash value so far this year. In total, police confiscated more than 68 pounds of cocaine that was worth over $1,499,000 in quarter one. Because cocaine is so addictive and can have serious effects on people’s health, cocaine addiction treatment is recommended for people abusing this drug. The next highest value of drugs were crack cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.1 With such high numbers of heroin and fentanyl, these numbers suggest that the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania is far from over.

These 2020 drug seizure statistics are much higher than the year before. In quarter four of 2019, Pennsylvania police confiscated $8.77 million worth of drugs compared to the $11.1 million from January 1 to March 31 of this year.2 In general, 2019 numbers were down compared to total drug seizure cash values in 2018, but with the release of Pennsylvania’s first quarter numbers, it looks like the 2020 totals will rise again.

Increased Drug Seizures Across the United States

Pennsylvania isn’t the only place to see increased drug seizure numbers in 2020. In New York City, the DEA is reporting a 180% increase in cash seizures from 2019.2 Similarly across the country, cash seizures in Los Angeles from March 1 to May 8 more than doubled compared to the same time last year.3 These dramatic increases in cash and drug seizures in Pennsylvania as well as around the United States suggest that something drastic may have changed.

The coronavirus may be to thank for some of these drug seizures. The pandemic’s stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns have disrupted the normal drug trade. Travel around the world has drastically decreased in 2020 compared to 2019. Drug traffickers have had to take alternate routes and the lack of crowds makes picking out drug traffickers easier. As the state begins to reopen, these seizures may decrease, but it will likely take some time for the drug trade to return back to normal. Second and third quarter drug seizures in PA will be more telling on how much of an impact the pandemic has had in affecting these numbers.

Even with so many illicit drugs being taken out of circulation, it does not help those people who are already addicted. Our detox center in PA helps people to safely get off of these drugs and start working towards long-term sobriety. With more people getting help and getting sober, these people can stop buying drugs off the streets and possibly avoid the legal problems that sometimes come with illicit drug use.

If you or someone you love has a drug problem, do not wait to get help. Call us today at 570-536-9621. At Clearbrook, we are here to help.



  1. – State Police Seizes More Than $11 Million in Illegal Drugs in the First Quarter of 2020
  2. Lehigh Valley Live – Fentanyl seizures spiked as Pa. State Police seized $43M in drugs in 2019
  3. NBC – COVID-19 is costing drug cartels millions of dollars
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