Illegal Drug Use in the European Union

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.

Seizures of Heroin in NYC in first 5 Months of 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.

Amount the US Government Spends on Drug Addiction Research

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.

Crystal Meth In Iran

A teenager who sells crystal meth in Tehran, Iran, told the media that he sells a gram of crystal meth for about $5. Buyers of meth in Iran include many students and middle-class workers. According to the dealer, meth is more expensive than heroin in Iran, and many young people in Iran see crystal meth as “a luxury drug.” Many women have started to take crystal meth in order to lose weight and state that the methamphetamine pills are “cheaper than liposuction.”

(How much does meth cost?)

Government security agents in Iran reported seizing 3,500 kilograms of crystal meth in Iran in 2013, along with discovering 375 meth labs.

Security services in Iran spend up to $1 Billion a year combating drug trafficking along the border with Afghanistan. 80 percent of the executions conducted by the Iranian government are on charges related to drug trafficking.

From the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 to 2014, nearly 4,000 security personnel have been killed while conducting anti-narcotics operations.

(Additional crystal meth facts.)

Source:  Ramita Navai, “Breaking bad in Tehran: how Iran got a taste for crystal meth,” Guardian, May 13, 2014.

Earnings for an Opium Grower in Egypt

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.