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

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 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.

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. Back in 2012, 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 statistics.)

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

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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.

In the fiscal year 2013, the United States Federal Government spent $320 Million on drug addiction research, according to a report by the Cincinnati Enquirer. The amount of federal spending was down 20 percent when compared to the inflation adjusted amount of $402 Million in 2010.

When adjusted for inflation, the amount of federal spending for 2013 was the same as FY 2002.

According to the Association for Addiction Professionals, about 10 percent of people in the United States who are addicted to prescription drugs or are heroin addicts have received any sort of treatment.

Source:  Carrie Blackmore Smith and Terry DeMio, “No way out: Heroin addicts trapped in deadly maze,” Cincinnati Enquirer, May 19, 2014.

Data released by the National Police Agency in Japan stated that 10,909 people were arrested in the country for various drug offenses in 2013.

Of the total who were arrested, 2,206 people, or 20 percent, were people over the age of 50. According to security officials, the number of older suspects who are arrested for drug crimes in Japan has risen in the last several years.

(See more crime in Japan statistics.)

Source:  Kenji Ogata and Roppei Tsuda, “Crime boss: Several buyers of illegal drugs are in showbiz,” Asahi Shimbun, May 19, 2014.

A Bedouin who lives in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt has resorted to growing opium for drug traffickers in order to make a living.

The man told the media that he previously provided camel tours to tourists. Before the uprising and revolution in Egypt in 2011, the man would see about 60 tourists each day. In the years following the revolution, the number of tourists have basically dropped to zero.

Many of the workers in the region turned to growing opium in order to make money. From 0 fields before 2011, there were around 100 fields reportedly in the area as of 2014. Each new growing season brought in more opium fields.

(More heroin facts.)

In the planting season of 2014, the man had about 5 kilos of raw opium that he was planning on selling to drug traffickers. According to the man, drug dealers pay him a little under $1,370 (€1,000) per kilo. After splitting the profit with his business partner and calculating expenses such as seeds, water and labor, the farmer’s total profit from his opium field is about $826 (€600). This amount is significantly less than what he made a a tour guide.

(More earnings from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Theresa Breuer, “Egypt’s Tourism Crash Gives Way To Bustling Opium Trade,” WorldCrunch, May 8, 2014.