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 court testimony for the former Director General of Police (Prisons), the value of drugs that are smuggled in the state of Punjab, India, is worth $9.7 Billion (60,000 Crore Indian Rupees) per year. The former security official stated that many of proceeds from the illegal drug trade went to funding elections of corrupt officials in the state.

Previous estimates by intelligence agencies stated that in all of India, the drug trade was valued at $2.2  Billion to $4.5 Billion (10,000 to 20,000 crore).

Source:  “Drug trafficking in jails: HC tells Centre to decide on deploying paramilitary forces,” Times of India, October 29, 2013.

Various criminal justice programs across the Middle East have seen a rise in the amphetamine market in recent years. The trade name of the drug is called Captagon, which was originally created to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The drug was banned from most countries back in 1986, yet cheaper versions containing amphetamine are easily produced and trafficked.

The pills costs pennies to manufacture in factories located in Lebanon, and can be sold for up to $20 in Saudi Arabia. Each year, Saudi security agencies seized nearly 55 million Captagon pills each year on average, with security officials estimated that the seized amount only represents 10 percent of all pills being trafficked into the country. Three-quarters of all drug treatment patients in Saudi Arabia are addicted to methamphetamine and Captagon.

(Additional facts about crystal meth abuse.)

In a single month in 2013, government security agencies in Lebanon confiscated over $200 Million worth of Captagon pills in the country.

In December 2012, government forces in Syria seized a factory in the city of Homs that was storing 18,000 Captagon pills. Intelligence officials believe that proceeds from the illegal drug trade is helping to fund both anti-Asaad rebels as well as Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militia who is fighting on behalf of President Assad.

(More: How much does meth cost?)

Source:  Aryn Baker, “Syria’s Breaking Bad: Are Amphetamines Funding the War?,” Time, October 28, 2013.

In a study of global commercial truck drivers, nearly half of drivers tested postive to using alcohol when driving, and 30 percent used amphetamines to stay awake during long trips.

The study conducted by the Universidada Estadual de Londrina in Brazil found that the number of users varied widely by country. In Brazil, 91 percent of truck drivers stated that they drank alcohol while working, compared to 9 percent in Pakistan.

83 percent of truck drivers in Thailand tested positive for amphetamines, compared to 0.2 percent in Norway.

In the United States, 12.5 percent of commercial drivers tested positive for alcohol.

The Federal Highway Police in Brazil stated that marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and LSD were all easily found at gas stations and rest stop locations. Brazil has the most traffic accidents in the world.

(More meth facts and abuse information.)

Source:  Kathyrn Doyle, “Drug use high among commercial truck drivers: study,” Reuters, October 25, 2013.

According to a report by Noisey, the price of prescription strength cough syrup sold on the black market varies across the United States. On average, pints of the cough syrup can cost between $250 to $400. In Houston, a pint can sell for up to $1,000, and in Atlanta pints have been reportedly sold for $1,200.

On Instagram, users have been selling bottles of Actavis Promethazine Cough Syrup with Codeine on their accounts. One dealer was quoted as offering a pint of Actavis for $350, and 2 pints for $600.

(Additional statistics about prescription drug abuse.)

The cough syrup is mixed with Sprite and Jolly Rancher candy in a cup to create a purple liquid. The drug, commonly known as Lean, Sizzurp, Drank, and other names, is often referenced to by rappers in their music, which has contributed to their popularity. In a recent survey of high school seniors, 5.5 percent of respondents said that they used the drug.

(More prices of illegal drugs and other black market prices.)

Source: Fletcher Babb, “Lean On Me: Emoji Death Threats and Instagram’s Codeine Kingpin,” Noisey, Vice, October 24, 2013.

According to a study conducted by Ontario Drug Policy Research Network, thousands of OxyContin pills dispersed in Canada ended up being smuggled into the United States during an 18 month period.

Between August 2010 and February 2012, Canada was offering the more addictive form of Oxy, while the United States was offering a tamper-resistant version of the drug that was not addictive. Researchers found that there was a large increase in the dispensing of OxyContin tablets at the Detroit-Windser tunnel area of the border between the two countries. During the time period, up to 250,000 OxyContin tablets were sold in excess than the amount needed in Canada. These pills are believed to have been smuggled into the United States for sale.

(More facts about pain killer abuse and statistics.)

Source:  Canadian Press, “Canada to heed U.S. pleas to crack down on generic OxyContin, Ambrose hints,” Global Post, October 21, 2013.

An investigation conducted by the Sydney Morning Herald found that bath salts are readily available for purchase on the Internet.

A popular bath salt called “Eight Ballz” costs $20 per gram with a minimum order of $200. Eight Ballz provides the user with “more strength and energy”. However, if the customer was looking for “something more like cocaine,” then the brand “a-PVP” is recommended, which costs $80 per gram with a minimum order of four grams.

(Price of cocaine worldwide.)

Payments for the bath salts are made through Western Union.

Source:  Tim Elliott, “Online synthetic cocaine selling for $80 a gram,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 21, 2013.

In the first 8 months of 2013, security agencies in the US State of Ohio recorded 770 crystal meth lab busts in the state. The number of meth lab busts is already the highest ever recorded for a year in Ohio.

Back in 2008, there were 112 meth lab busts recorded across the state. The number of reports have increased each year.

Similarly to Florida, authorities are attributing the rise to the use of easier methods of cooking meth.

(See the price of meth around the world.)

Source:  Jake Kauffman, “Record Number of Meth Lab Busts in Ohio in 2013,” WTRF 7 News, October 20, 2013.

According to figures released by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the number of methamphetamine busts in the state of Florida has been increasing in recent years.

In 2010, the DEA recorded 455 meth busts within the state. 676 meth busts were recorded in 2011, and 852 busts took place in 2012.

In the first half of 2013, law enforcement conducted 597 meth busts.

Security experts attribute the rise in meth labs to the use of the “Shake and Bake” method of cooking meth. Using a 2-liter bottle and materials purchased at retail stores,  meth users are cooking meth in smaller batches in less time. While the previous popular method of cooking a batch of meth took 2 days, the shake and bake method takes about 45 minutes.

(Additional methamphetamine facts.)

Source:  Millard K. Ives, “Law enforcement trying to shake up new meth recipe,” Daily Commercial, October 20, 2013.

Statistics from the Australian Institute for Health, Welfare, Alcohol and other drug treatment services show that there has been an increase in the number of Australians over the age of 50 entering drug addition treatment programs.

Between the time span of 2004 to 2012, the rate of Australians over 50 receiving drug treatment for cocaine addiction increased by 247 percent.

Heroin rehab admissions increased by 138 percent.

The number of Australians between the age of 50 to 59 who received treatment for marijuana increased by 163 percent, and 231 percent for those over 60.

The biggest surge in drug treatment programs were for amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse. Australians between the age of 50 to 59 increased their treatment for amphetamine by 407 percent, and a 321 percent increase for those over 60.

(More marijuana prices.)

Source:  Jackie Sinnerton and Lisa Cornish, “Drug use spikes as baby boomers return to bad habits of their youth in 1960s, with amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin,”, OCtober 20, 2013.

According to a drug policy reform group, the illegal marijuana market in Mexico City, Mexico was worth $30 Million as of 2013.

The city was considering legalizing marijuana, which would make it the largest city in North America to legalize the use of marijuana.

(Cost of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Ioan Grillo, “North America’s Largest City Moves to Legalize Pot,” Time, October 14, 2013.