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. 2020 isn’t the only year that Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) stayed busy. Our Clearbrook rehab in PA is sharing more on changes in the drug trade in recent years, including the results of Pennsylvania drug busts from 2021 and 2022.
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 These 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 was 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 1st to March 31st 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.
2021 vs. 2022 PA Drug Busts
The rate of drug busts in Pennsylvania keeps rising. Now that we’ve gone over 2019 and 2020 drug seizures in PA, let’s compare the results of 2021 to 2022 seizures.
- First Quarter: The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) seized $17,784,894 worth of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and other illicit drugs in the first quarter of 2021. Included in these raids are $5,559,180 of cocaine, $109,920 of crack cocaine, $508,300 of heroin, $693,120 of fentanyl, and $543,974 of other narcotics. This does not include marijuana-related products, LSD, or4
- Second Quarter: In PA’s second quarter of 2021, PSP troopers confiscated $19,601,549 worth of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and other illicit substances. These include $6,250,140 of cocaine and crack cocaine, $754,120 of heroin, $4,903,840 of fentanyl, $1,677,300 of methamphetamines, and $1,124,565 of other narcotics. Excluded from the list are cannabis-related drugs, LSD, and MDMA.5
- Third Quarter: The third quarter of 2021 saw $25,060,709 worth of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and other illicit drugs confiscated in Pennsylvania. These seizures found $6,919,120 of cocaine products, $336,600 of heroin, $2,814,080 of fentanyl, $710,500 of methamphetamines, and $4,116,015 of other narcotics, not including MDMA, LSD, and cannabis.6
- Fourth Quarter: $72,004,713 worth of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and other illicit drugs were seized by PSP in the fourth quarter of 2021. This includes $21,935,680 of cocaine products, $1,902,640 of heroin, $8,826,880 of fentanyl, $7,336,500 of methamphetamines, and $6,444,434 in other narcotics.7
Below are the results of multiple drug seizures that happened in Pennsylvania in the first three quarters of 2022 alone.
- First Quarter: PSP announced in 2022 that troopers confiscated $23,160,277 worth of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and other illicit drugs in the first quarter of 2022. Also included in this list are $3,595,680 of cocaine, $76,480 of crack cocaine, $442,000 of heroin, $1,027,200 of fentanyl, and $2,982,625 of narcotic pills.8
- Second Quarter: In the second quarter of 2022 in Pennsylvania, PSP seized $5,099,400 of cocaine, $52,800 of crack cocaine, $260,440 of heroin, $4,144,800 of fentanyl, $3,084,100 of methamphetamine, and $1,161,050 of narcotics pills. This list does not include nearly $566,348 worth of marijuana-related products, LSD, and MDMA.9
- Third Quarter: PSP seized more than $2,261,600 of cocaine, $1,441,000 of methamphetamines, $1,368,640 of fentanyl, and $1,633,625 of narcotics and other illicit drugs in the third quarter of 2022. Additionally, 698 pounds of prescription and other medications were confiscated as part of the state’s drug take-back program during the third quarter of 2022.10
Increased Drug Seizures Across the United States
Pennsylvania drug busts weren’t the only ones that occurred from 2019 to 2022. 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 1st to May 8th 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 had drastically decreased in 2020 compared to 2019. Drug traffickers had to take alternate routes, and the lack of crowds made 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 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 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.
Our PA rehab center also offers various therapy programs and options for substance-specific treatment to offer patients individualized care. To learn more about our Pennsylvania addiction treatment and how we can help you get clean, call Clearbrook Treatment Centers today at 570-536-9621 or send us your contact information, and one of our specialists will reach out to you.
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seizes More Than $11 Million in Illegal Drugs in the First Quarter of 2020
- Lehigh Valley Live – Fentanyl seizures spiked as Pa. State Police seized $43M in drugs in 2019
- NBC – COVID-19 is costing drug cartels millions of dollars
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seizes More Than $17.7 Million In Illegal Drugs During The First Quarter Of 2021
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seizes More Than $19.6 Million In Illegal Drugs During The Second Quarter Of 2021
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seizes More Than $25 Million In Illegal Drugs During The Third Quarter Of 2021
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seized More Than $72 Million In Illegal Drugs In 2021; $9.5 Million During The Fourth Quarter
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seizes More Than $23.1 Million In Illegal Drugs During The First Quarter Of 2022
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seizes More Than $18 Million In Illegal Drugs In Second Quarter Of 2022
- Pennsylvania Pressroom – State Police Seizes Nearly 2,000 Pounds Of Illegal Drugs In Third Quarter Of 2022