The reasons for illegal drug trade in the United States are complex. In any given situation, any number of factors may come into play. However, we can generalize about some common factors.
One reason certain drugs may be in higher demand is that they are illegal. When people are addicted to a drug, they will seek it out no matter the cost or legality of it. Certain drugs, illegal in the United States, can only be found on the black market. Therefore, illegal drugs continue to be imported into the US, where people are waiting to buy them. There is some evidence that legalizing some drugs, notably marijuana in certain states, could offer a legal alternative that consumers might prefer.
Another factor is the high price of prescription drugs in the United States. Up to 8 percent of individual Americans, according to one survey, bought prescription drugs abroad and imported them into the US. This is an illegal act; although the drugs themselves might be allowed when purchased in the United States through legal pharmacies, they are not to be brought in from abroad. People in need of prescription drugs, especially those with financial limitations, might be more tempted to take the risk.
Yet another reason illegal drugs are brought into the country is that there are, in some areas, established cultures for drug dealing. This includes the acceptance, and sometimes collaboration, of some local officials. In addition, with several points of entry and an organized system for moving drugs, make it relatively easy for drugs to enter the United States in certain areas. Merely having access to drugs is a method of creating higher demand. Once again, for drug addicts, any availability of the drug will lead to more consumption unless medical help is obtained.