The National Football League (NFL) stated that 7 percent of its players have abused prescription pain relievers according to a report by the Washington Post. The rate of abuse was three times higher than the general population.
In a 2010 study conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine, former NFL players were found to have been abusing opioids at a rate of more than 4 times members of the general population 52 percent of former players also reported to using opioids during their playing career, with 71 percent reporting that they misused the drugs.
The Washington Post conducted a survey of over 500 former players and found that one in four reported that they took prescription medication that they were not comfortable taking after feeling pressure from team doctors.
Source: Sally Jenkins and Rick Maese, “Pain and pain management in NFL spawn a culture of prescription drug use and abuse,” Washington Post, April 13, 2013.
In 2013, security officials in Bolivia reported on an increase in homicides and targeted assassinations in the country. Officials attribute the rise in contract killings due to increase drug trafficking by organized crime syndicates. Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of coca.
The New York Times reported that one man and his two sons paid a hitman $15,000 to kill his ex-wife. In a separate incident, a wife paid $4,000 to have her husband killed by a professional assassin.
In the first 4 months of 2013, there were 16 killings in Bolivia that appear to have been targeted killings.
Source: William Neuman, “Video of Killing Crystallizes Bolivian Anger Over Crime,” New York Times, May 2, 2013.
In Northern Mali, a cigarette smuggler is paid $200 (100,000- CFA Francs) for a single trip transporting tobacco across the Sahara Desert. If the same smuggler is transporting cocaine, then the smuggler would be paid $2,000.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that up to 18 tonnes of cocaine is smuggled through West Africa on its way to Europe. The cocaine has a street value of $1.25 Billion.
(See the price of cocaine per gram worldwide.)
Source: Afua Hirsch, “Cocaine flows through Sahara as al-Qaida cashes in on lawlessness,” Guardian, May 2, 2013.
In 1999, there were 4,030 deaths reported in the United States that were caused by overdosing on prescription painkillers.
In 2010, the number of reported deaths quadrupled to 16,651.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a span of 10 years there were 125,000 deaths that were caused by legal prescription drugs such as Vicodin, Oxycontin and methadone.
Source: Jason Kane, “Prescription Drug Abuse: Top 10 Things CDC Says You Should Know,” PBS Newshour, April 30, 2013.
Between 2010 and April 2013, organized crime groups and common criminals have killed 59 lawyers across Honduras, according to the National Human Rights Commissioner.
6 lawyers have been killed in the first four months of 2013. In 2012, there were 15 killings of lawyers, 26 in 2011, and 12 killings in 2010.
According to the Commissioner, 92 percent of the killings involved firearms, 6 percent were killed by suffocation, and 2 percent involved knives.
Out of all the deaths, there has been two convictions.
It was previously reported that 151 National Police Officers were killed in Honduras between 2011 to 2013.
Source: Angel Servellon, “Honduras: Organized crime targets lawyers,” Inforsurhoy, April 30, 2013.
An estimated 3.3 million people across the East Asia and Pacific region consume heroin on an annual basis. In China, an estimated 2,366,000 people used heroin in 2010, followed by Indonesia with 247,000 users, Vietnam with 155,000 heroin users, and Myanmar with 100,000 users.
In 2011, up to 65 tons of pure heroin was believed to have been consumed across the region.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that the heroin market in the region is worth $16.3 Billion.
Source: “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page vi.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency referred 291 cases of money laundering to the Anti-Money Laundering Council between 2003 to 2013. As a result of these investigations, $50.85 Million (270 Million Philippine Pesos) in drug trafficking assets were frozen during the span of 10 years.
Source: Xinhua, “Philippines steps up campaign against money launderers,” Phil Star, April 27, 2013.
Security officials estimate that organized crime groups in Peru earn between $5 Billion to $7 Billion a year.
Cocaine production in Peru is estimated to be around 325 tons per year, which generates over $1 Billion a year. Cocaine from Peru accounts for 5 percent of the 300 tons of cocaine that is used in the United States each year.
(Cocaine prices from around the world.)
Source: Robert Muggah and Jeremy McDermott, “A Massive Drug Trade, and No Violence,” Atlantic, April 24, 2013.
Police agencies in Spain seized 20.7 tonnes of cocaine and 325.5 tonnes of hashish in 2012. The amount of cocaine seized was roughly 25 percent higher than the amount seized in 2011. The amount of hashish was down 8.5 percent from 2011.
The amount of cocaine seized in Spain represented 41 percent of all cocaine and 73 percent of all hashish seized in Europe in 2012.
Source: AFP, “Spain fights to lose status as drug gateway to Europe,” Google News, April 22, 2013.
From January to September 2012, security agencies in the Republic of Kosovo seized 1,091 kilograms of marijuana, 51.5 kilograms of heroin, 7.2 kilograms of cocaine, and 153 ecstasy tablets. The amount of illegal drugs seized in 2012 was higher than the amount of drugs seized in 2011.
Officials estimate that most drug users in the country are men between the ages of 18 to 35 who smoke marijuana.
Source: Menekse Tokyay, “Turkey and Balkans battle drug trafficking,” SETimes.com, April 22, 2013.