A study released by the Government of Bolivia found that 58 percent of the coca that is cultivated in the country is used for traditional purposes.
The remaining 32 percent of coca is devoted to cocaine production.
In total, 25,300 hectares of coca was cultivated across Bolivia in 2012.
Bolivia is ranked third behind Peru and Colombia in terms of cocaine production worldwide. Over 40,000 people in the country depend on coca cultivation for income. The crop contributes to $332 Million to Bolivia’s economy.
(Cocaine prices by country.)
Source: Associated Press, “Bolivia says most of its coca for traditional uses,” San Jose Mercury News, November 13, 2013.
In the Midwest region of the United States, the Sinaloa drug cartel is offering heroin at a cheaper rate the prescription pain killers.
According to a report by Bloomberg, users who are addicted to painkillers turn to heroin due to the costs. One pills of Vicodin sold on the black market costs around $5 to $6. As a user becomes more addicted to the pill, more pills are necessary to satisfy the craving. One user stated that she was taking up to 10 Vicodin pills a day for a cost of $50 per day.
The Sinaloa cartel, on the other hand, was offering one-tenth of a gram for $10. Due to the strength of the heroin, two to three hits of heroin could last the same user for the entire day, cutting down on the costs. The Sinaloa cartel’s heroin is 94 percent pure, according to security services, and is a point of pride for the cartel.
Up to 50 metric tons of heroin is produced in Mexico each year. Nearly half of all heroin abused in the United States is produced in Mexico, with the remaining heroin being smuggled in from South America and Asia.
(See heroin prices worldwide.)
Source: Andrew Martin, “Cartel Hits Midwest With Heroin Killing Chicago Youth,” Bloomberg, November 12, 2013.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that the total area in Afghanistan that was planted with opium was 209,000 hectares in 2013.Out of the total area, the potential production of opium was 5,500 tones.
The are of opium cultivation in 2013 was the highest levels ever recorded an a 36 percent increase from the year before. It was also the first time ever that the total area of opium cultivation was over 200,000 hectares.
Source: “Afghanistan opium harvest at record high – UNODC,” BBC News, November 13, 2013.
In 2013, it was reported that the Mexican drug cartel Knights Templar was earning over $6 Million a month in various black market activities.
Based on intelligence agencies estimates, media organizations in Mexico stated that the cartel was earning $2.2 Million each month transporting illegal drugs. $1 Million was collected each month through extortion threats to local businesses, and another $1 Million raised from extorting local government officials. An addition $600,000 in illicit income was generated from car theft and kidnapping for ransom.
$1.3 Million in revenue was generated from legitimate businesses that the cartel operates. These businesses are also used as money laundering venues to launder the black market funds.
It should be noted that these funds are seperate from any profits that the drug cartel earns from illegal drugs sales in the United States.
Source: Charles Parkinson, “Mexico’s Knights Templar Earns $73 Mn Before US Drug Profits,” Insight Crime, November 8, 2013.
According to figures released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 227 million methamphetamine pills were seized across East and Southeast Asia in 2012. The number of pills seized was a 59 percent increase from the 142 million seized in 2011.
Back in 2007, security services seized 25 million pills across East and Southeast Asia.
102.2 million meth pills in 2012 were seized in China, followed by Thailand with 95.3 million meth pills seized, and Myanmar had 18.2 million pills seized.
(Price of Meth by country.)
Source: Associated Press, “UN Says Asia Meth Seizures Hit Highs in 2012,” ABC News, November 8, 2013.
5.1 percent of residents in Peru’s capital of Lima used cocaine in 2013, according to a report by a drug monitoring organization. 8.9 percent of the city’s residents used marijuana.
Across the entire country, 2.4 percent of the population aged 12 to 65 abused cocaine in Peru, an increase of over 60 percent from the 1.5 percent who used cocaine in 2010. Marijuana use in Peru also increased during that time period, from 5.6 percent to 7.5 percent.
(Marijuana prices by country.)
Source: Natalie Southwick, “Cocaine Use in Peru Increases 60% in 3 Years,” Insight Crime, November 7, 2013.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that over 200 tons of cocaine is transported across Central America. Grown in the South, the cocaine moves north through Guatemala on its way to markets in the United States and Europe. The value of the cocaine that is passed through Guatemala is estimated to be worth $6 Billion.
According to organized crime researchers at Insight Crime, smugglers in Guatemala earn between $600 Million to $800 Million a year moving the drugs across the country. These “transportistas”, as they are called, are responsible for getting the drugs through territory that they are responsible for. In addition of moving the cocaine, the haulers also move the money generated from the sales. Security officials in November 2013 seized $1.4 Million in cash from a single car.
(More profits and earnings from black market activities.)
Source: Charles Parkinson, “Seizure Highlights Guatemala’s Poor Record in Cash Smuggling,” Insight Crime, November 6, 2013.
Federal data from the United States showed that nearly 80 percent of people who used heroin in 2011 also previously abused prescription painkillers in 2011.
The rise in prescription drug abuse in the United States has lead to a rise in the number of people using heroin. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of people using heroin in the United States increased from 373,000 to 669,000.
Health experts state that when people become addicted to painkillers, the will turn to the black market to find pills to satisfy their addiction. If they can’t find pills, then they will turn to heroin.
Both heroin and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone are derived from opium. They both share a similar molecule that attaches to the brain’s receptor, which gives the user a positive feeling when the drug is taken, and a negative feeling when it is not taken. Thus, both painkillers and heroin are extremely addictive to users and are interchangeable when addicted.
Source: “With Rise Of Painkiller Abuse, A Closer Look At Heroin,” NPR, November 2, 2013.
There were an estimated 1.6 million drug users in Afghanistan in 2013, roughly 5.3 percent of the country’s population. 10 percent of households across Afghanistan has at least one drug user residing there.
In the city of Herat, 20 percent of households has a drug user residing there with roughly 8 percent of the city population abusing drugs. Across the entire province, security officials state that there are 60,000 to 70,000 drug addicts, with health officials claiming 100,000. 18 percent of intravenous drug users in the city were infected with HIV, compared to 3 percent of intravenous drug users in Kabul.
In October 2013, the intelligence agency of Afghanistan fired 65 employees because they were addicted to opium.
In order to treat the drug addicts, there are under 28,000 formal drug treatment slots available nationwide, according to health officials. The government of Afghanistan spends less than $4 Million a year on treatment, and relies on $12 Million in international aid to meet the costs.
Between 2001 and 2013, the United States has spent over $6 Billion to battle the opium industry in Afghanistan. In 2010 to 2012, opium cultivation increased to its highest levels since 2008. Demand for Afghan heroin and the prices of heroin have remained steady.
Source: Azam Ahmed, “That Other Big Afghan Crisis, the Growing Army of Addicts,” New York Times, November 2, 2013.
Nyaope, or Whoonga, is a street drug that is popular in South Africa. The drug is made up of various products, such as marijuana, low-grade heroin, rat poison and HIV-antiretrovirals. The drug is sold on the black market for $30 (30 South African Rand).
Health officials started to notice indicents of the drugs begiing in 2007 and have seen a rise in the number of incidents. At a single drug treatment center near Johannesburg, 63 people received treatment for nyaope addiction in April 2013. In June, the number of addicts receiving treatment increased to 134, and 223 patients were recorded in August 2013.
(Heroin prices by country.)
Source: “South Africa’s poorest hooked on cocktail of heroin and anti-HIV drugs,” NBC News, October 31, 2013.