Methamphetamine Facts

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  1. Methamphetamine Market Value$28.25 Billion

Information and facts about meth addiction and the trafficking of methamphetamine. Facts collected from public health agencies, drug rehab centers, and other meth addiction treatment and enforcement agencies.

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.

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.

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

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Reports by criminal justice programs in Australia found that drug trafficking activities in the country were increasing and that the arrests and seizures for illegal drugs reached an all time high.

In the Fiscal Year of 2012-2013, security personnel in Australia arrested 101,749 people for drug crimes. During the course of their investigations, police made 86,918 seizures of illegal drugs during the past year, which was a 66 percent increase over the past decade.

Marijuana is the most seized drug in Australia.

The second most popular drug in Australia was methamphetamine, where police saw a 300 percent increase in seizures from the year before.

Cocaine and steroids also saw record high seizure rates in Australia last year.

Source: AFP, “Australia warns meth pandemic as drug busts hit record,” Bangkok Post, April 29, 2014.

According to intelligence agencies and police reports, the purity of the crystal meth that is trafficked out of North Korea has been tested to have a 99 percent purity rate.

The production of crystal meth is a big business for the North Korean state. Intelligence agencies estimate that up to 40 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade levels comes from black market activities, of which the trafficking of crystal meth is a large portion.

In the Northern areas of the country, between 40 to 50 percent of the population is reportedly addicted to crystal meth.

(Prices of meth around the world.)

Source:  Lizzie Parry, “Brea-KIM bad! 99% pure crystal meth made in North Korea floods U.S. drug markets,” Daily Mail, April 26, 2014.

In 2013, criminal justice officials in the United States estimated that between $19 Billion to $29 Billion is being smuggled down to Mexico from illegal drug sales in the United States. The sales and revenue from marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is included in that total.

In terms of enforcement, the US Immigration ad Customs Enforcement seized $411 Million in cash that was being transported into Mexico.

The Former Governor of Sinaloa stated that up to 62 percent of the economy in Sinaloa was based on drug trafficking money.

Many of the drug cartels invest in legitimate businesses in order to launder their illicit proceeds. Cartels place investments into shopping centers, hotels, residential developments and various types of economic activities.

Source:  John Burnett, “At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South,” NPR News, March 20, 2014.

In the US State of Hawaii, a prison guard plead guilty in federal court for smuggling contraband items into prison.

The guard accepted $5,000 from a dealer to smuggle methamphetamine into the correctional facility, which was then distributed to a confidential informant.

(More earnings and income from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Ex-Halawa guard pleads guilty in meth smuggling,” SeattlePI.com, March 19, 2014.

In a report released by the Attorney General of the US State of California, researchers stated that organized crime groups were committing money laundering, cyber crimes, human trafficking, and drugs and arms trafficking through the border between San Diego and Mexico.

According to the report, approximately 70 percent of all the methamphetamine that is shipped to the United States passed through San Diego.

(How much does meth cost?)

Between 2010 and 2012, at least 1,300 people were identified by security officials as being trafficked through San Diego. An up to 250,000 weapons are smuggled across the border between the two countries each year.

(Cost of an AK-47 and guns on the black market.)

Source:  Roxana Popescu, “State focusing on cross-border trafficking and financial crime,” UT San Diego, March 18, 2014.

Through the use of our User Submitted Data Form, a reader of Havocscope submitted information about the illegal drug trade in Cambodia. According to the reader, the prices of drugs in Cambodia vary depending if the buyer is a local Cambodian or a tourist / foreigner. In addition, an expat who is closely connected to the drug trade will generally receive lower prices compared to a tourist or backpacker traveling through Cambodia.

The following prices for drugs were reported to Havocscope:

Methamphetamine:  The maximum retail price for a gram of methamphetamine in Cambodia is $100. As is common among black market sales, if the buyer does not have a scale, the dealer can short-change them and only provide .70 to .90 grams. In general, a customer can expect to pay between $80 to $90 per gram. Most buyers of meth in Cambodia pay $20 for a bag of meth. The buyers assume that .20 grams of meth is included in the bag, yet most dealers only offer .17 grams. Thus, a meth dealer is usually able to sell up to 6 bags of meth per gram, making up to $120 per gram in revenue.  (See more prices of meth worldwide.)

For meth dealers, an ounce of methamphetamine in Cambodia would cost them about $1,500 (for roughly 30 grams). The price to purchase a kilogram of meth is between $25,000 to $30,000. The sources for the kilo of meth include various producers, such as local meth producers, to Nigerian smugglers and the Vietnamese Mafia.

Yaba tablets are offered for $2.50 to $5 to a yaba delaer, with the price rising to $5 to $15 for a tourist or foreigner.

Heroin: According to the data submitted, the $5 rate of heroin as reported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is incorrect. In the streets of Cambodia, a gram of “China White” heroin sells for around $40 to $70 per gram, depending on the amount bought. Most heroin users in Cambodia pay $20 for a bag of heroin (same method as meth), thus allowing the heroin dealer to make up to $120 to $140 per gram.  (See all heroin prices worldwide.)

Ecstasy: An ecstasy tablet with roughly .10 grams of MDMA sells for $15 in Cambodia. Dealers are able to purchase ecstasy tablets for about $8. For a gram of MDMA, the cost in Cambodia is $100 retail, with $79 to $80 being paid by dealers. (See all ecstasy prices worldwide.)

Cocaine: Most of the cocaine for sale in Cambodia is “garbage,” according to the data. Many dealers attempt to pass of heroin as cocaine. If a dealer was able to find a legitimate source, then a gram of cocaine in Cambodia would cost about $75, with users paying between $100 to $200 per gram for cocaine.  (See world cocaine prices.)

LSD: $20 to $25 per hit.

Ketamine: It is legal for local Cambodians to buy ketamine at the pharmacy. However, the sale of the drug is banned to foreigners. Thus, vials from the pharmacy cost between $12 to $15 for a half gram. These vials are then sold to foreigners for $18 to $25.

Other Prescription Drugs: The pharmacies in Cambodia are barely monitored, thus many prescription pills in the West are available for over-the-counter purchases in Cambodia. For example, 30 pills of Valium (30 mg per pill) is available for $1, and codeine is widely available. However, stimulants such as Adderall are not imported and not available in Cambodia.

Source: User Submitted Data to Havocscope, received on March 13, 2014.

The average age of a crystal meth user in Germany is 20, according to a study commissioned by the Health Ministry. Most of the crystal meth abusers first tried the drug between the ages of 16 to 20.

Half of the people interviewed in the survey stated that they took crystal meth to deal with job stress or school stress.

Statistics from criminal justice departments across the country showed that 2,556 people were classified as new meth users in Germany in 2012. The number of new meth users was up by 51 percent from the previous year.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source:  “Children, 11, taking crystal meth,” The Local, March 12, 2014.