1. Substance Abuse Statistics
  1. Cocaine$85 Billion
  2. Ecstasy$16.07 Billion
  3. Heroin$68 Billion
  4. Marijuana$141.80 Billion
  5. Methamphetamine$28.25 Billion
  6. Prescription Drug Abuse$72.5 Billion

Substance Abuse

Information and statistics about substance abuse around the world. Statistics also includes drug addiction rates, drug trafficking information, and sales and prices of the illegal drug trade.

According to a report by the International Narcotics Control Board, over 1,000 tonnes of marijuana is seized by United States security agents along the US / Mexico border each year.

The marijuana seized by US customs represented 94 percent of all marijuana seized around the world in 2013.

Back in 2010, law enforcement officials estimated that the US black market in marijuana was worth $41 Billion.

(See the price to buy a gram of marijuana around the world.)

Source:  AFP, “Mexico’s drug cartels adapt to US pot legalization,” Yahoo News, March 7, 2015.

According to statistics from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, there are 1.3 million people in Thailand who are addicted to drugs. This translates to roughly 2 percent of Thailand’s population.

Out of the 1.3 million drug addicts in the country, 250,000 have been prosecuted at one time and have been sent to prison. Military officials stated taht in some years, between 60 to 70 percent of soldiers signing up for the Thai Military have a history of drug addiction.

During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, public health officials stated that 359,399 drug addicts in Thailand underwent rehabilitation programs.

Source:  King-oua Laohong, “Thailand ‘now a drugs hub’ ,” Bangkok Post, December 19, 2014.

According to intelligence by the United States, there are about 37,066 acres of fields in Jamaica that are growing marijuana, or ganja, in the country.

66 percent of Jamaicans have stated in surveys that they have smoked marijuana, and 85 percent favor medical marijuana.

Despite wide-spread belief about ganja, marijuana is technically illegal in Jamaica.

(See more statistics about marijuana use here.)

Source:  Aileen Torres-Bennett, “Jamaica mulls legal pot (no, it’s not already legal),” USA Today, June 9, 2014.

Based on a scientific analysis of sewage waste water, the Belgian city of Antwerp had the most cocaine being discharged in Europe.

Belgium is the cheapest country in western Europe to buy cocaine, according to statistics released by the Global Drug Survey. Based on local intelligence, the cost to buy a gram of cocaine in Belgium is $68 (€50 ) per gram, roughly half the European average of cocaine.

(See the price of coke per gram around the world.)

Security and intelligence agencies report that around 25 percent of all cocaine being trafficked from South America into Europe passes through the ports of Belgium Most of the cocaine passes through the port at Antwerp, where 2 percent of the 8 million containers are screened by security officers.

The United States Department of State estimates that up to 20 tonnes of cocaine passes through the port each year, while other intelligence estimates place it at 30 tonnes.

In 2013, computer hackers were found to have been hacking the port’s IT systems in order to transport cocaine and avoiding searches.

(See all cocaine abuse and trafficking statistics.)

Source:  Jamie Doward, “Welcome to ‘boring’ Belgium where even the pigeons are on cocaine,” Guardian / Observer, May 31, 2014.

Security Agencies guarding the borders of the European Union detected 107,000 people who were attempting to illegally enter the EU in 2013.

The number of people detected by security forces was higher than the 75,000 people detected in 2012.

Intelligence officials stated that most of the people attempting to be smuggled into the EU or illegally enter the EU in 2013 were from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea.

Source:  Alan Cowell and Dan Bilefsky, “European Agency Reports Surge in Illegal Migration, Fueling a Debate,” New York Times, May 30, 2014.

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According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, the prostitution market in the United Kingdom is worth $8.8 Billion, and the illegal drugs market in the UK is worth $7.3 Billion.

The ONS calculates that there are  58,000 prostitutes working across the entire United Kingdom.

(Number of prostitutes in the world.)

The two activities contribute to just under 1 percent of the total economic output of the UK.

Source:  “National Accounts Articles – Impact of ESA95 Changes on Current Price GDP Estimates,” Office for National Statistics, May 29, 2014, page 4.

Source:  Joshua Abramsky & Steve Drew, “Changes to National Accounts:  Inclusion of Illegal Drugs and Prostitution in the  UK National Accounts,” Office for National Statistics, May 29, 2014, page 19.

According to a 2014 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), over 80 million people living in Europe are estimated to have used an illegal drug at some point in their lives. The number of people who have tried an illegal drug represents about a quarter of the adult population in the EU.

The most used illicit drug in Europe was marijuana, with 73.6 Million people stating that they tried it at least once in their lifetimes. In the most recent year measured (2012), the report stated that 18.1 million used marijuana. A total of 2,000 tonnes of marijuana and hashish is consumed in the EU each year.

The second most used drug in Europe was cocaine, with 14.1 million people using it in their lifetime. 3.1 million people used it in 2012. Based on analysis of raw sewage, investigators in Europe estimated that 1,800 pounds (832 Kilograms) of cocaine were consumed daily in Europe Cities.

The third most used drug in Europe was amphetamines, with 11.4 million users who used it in their lifetimes and 1.5 million users in 2012.

There were 31,000 new opioid users in Europe, with about 1.3 million problem users.

Heroin caused 6,100 overdose deaths in Europe in 2012, while cocaine overdose caused some 500 deaths.

Source:  AFP, “Prescription, synthetic drug abuse worry EU watchdog,” GlobalPost, May 27, 2014.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). security agencies worldwide seized 36 tons of methamphetamine in 2012. Back in 2008, a total of 12 tons of meth was seized around the world.

(Cost of meth per gram.)

In 2012, nearly 45 percent of the worldwide total of meth seizures took place in China. In North America, Mexico account for around 60 percent of all seizures in the region in 2012.

Between 2007 and 2012, the seizure rate of ecstasy in the United States declined by 85 percent.

(See all meth facts.)

Source:  Amar Toor, “New legal highs are flooding the market faster than governments can ban them,” The Verge, May 20, 2014.

In the first five months of 2014, anti-narcotics agents in New York City seized 288 pounds of heroin within the city. The heroin seized was worth about $40 to $60 Million on the black market.

In all of 2013, security agents seized a total of 175 pounds of heroin.

(How much does heroin cost per gram?)

Heroin abuse in NYC has seen a rise in recent years. In the 2014 fiscal year, Drug Enforcement Administration agents based in New York have seized about 35 percent of all heroin intercepted by the DEA. Typically, New York DEA agents are responsible for 20 percent of all heroin seizures.

(See all heroin addiction statistics.)

Source:  Christian Science Monitor, “Heroin Is Cheaper, More Pure, And More Of A Problem Than Ever Before,” Business Insider, May 21, 2014.

Data and statistics from the United States Government estimated that there were 336,000 people in the United States over the age of 55 who were misusing or addicted to prescription pain relievers in 2012. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that the figures for 2012 were 132,000 higher than 10 years previous.

Between 2007 and 2011, the number of seniors who were admitted to substance abuse treatment centers for a prescription pain medicine addiction increased by 46 percent, while the number of patients over the age of 65 who misused a prescription drug and had to be admitted to an emergency room increased by over 50 percent to 94,000 ER admissions during the time period.

Between 1999 and 2010, the overdose death rate of people over 55 increased by 3 times  to 9.4 deaths per 100,000.

Public health officials attribute the problem to an increase in prescription to older Americans for pain relief and anxiety. According to federal statistics,  about one in four adults over the age of 50 in the United States use psychoactive medications, most of which are opioids for pain relief or benzodiazepines for anxiety.

(See all prescription drug abuse statistics here.)

Source:  Peter Eisler, “Older Americans hooked on Rx: ‘I was a zombie’,” USA Today, May 21, 2014.