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 security officials in Australia, the indoor marijuana growing industry in the country is worth $1.85 Million (2 Million Australian Dollars) per year.

The marijuana is grown by organized crime gangs that use empty residential houses to grow the illicit drug on a commercial scale. Immigration officials state that many people from Vietnam are brought over to the country by human smugglers in order to work in the cannabis cultivation industry.

Police in Victoria stated that nearly 50 percent of people who were charged for marijuana cultivation were from Vietnam.

Source:  Samantha Maiden, “Crime syndicates importing Vietnamese asylum seekers to grow marijuana and work in brothels,”, July 28, 2013.

There are at least 800,000 people in Morocco who make a living cultivating illegal marijuana in the country.

The amount of money generated by the illegal marijuana crop in Morocco is estimated to be worth $10 Billion, or 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

(More illegal ways to make money.)

In 2003, there were 137,000 hectares of cannabis planted around the country. In 2010, the amount of hectares devoted to marijuana cultivation decreased to 47,000.

One hectare can yield between 5 to 6 kilograms of cannabis resin per year.

(Prices of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Souhail Karam, “Moroccan Marijuana Fix Sought to Cultivate Exports,” Bloomberg, July 26, 2013.

Half of the deforestation activities that took place in 9 forest reserves in Nigeria between 2010 and 2012 were due to marijuana cultivation.

According to a survey conducted by the Southwest/Niger Delta Forest Project, cannabis growers in the region can earn over 2 to 3 times more money that they would have earned though food crops.

(Price of marijuana around the world.)

Source:  Liz Kimbrough, “Illegal marijuana cultivation threatens Nigeria’s forests and chimps,”, July 26, 2013.

Between January and June 2013, security officials in Algeria seized 78 tons of cannabis resin in the country.

The amount seized was higher than the 71 tons of marijuana that was seized during the first half of 2012.

Most of the cannabis products that enter Algeria is trafficked from neighboring Morocco.

Source:  Lamine Chikhi, “Algeria puts army in charge of fighting drug trafficking,” Reuters, July 25, 2013.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that in 30 percent of drug busts for methamphetamine in the United States, children are present in the household. For local busts, police officers at the city level claim that in children are present in 90 percent of the meth busts.

According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, there were roughly 15,000 clandestine meth labs identified across the United States in 2010, double the number of labs discovered in 2007.

In 2011, the DEA reported that it identified over 11,000 clandestine meth houses.

(Meth addiction facts and statistics.)

The GAO report found that the state of Tennessee had the most home meth labs in the country, with 2,326 labs discovered in 2011. State records also show that 1,625 children in Tennessee were taken into state custody during a 5 year span due to their parents being involved with methamphetamine.

Production of smaller batches of meth has been increasing in the United States due to new cooking methods. Using a 2-liter bottle, meth users combine nasal decongestant (pseudoephedrine) with lithium batteries (for the lithium), cold packs (Ammonia Nitrate), engine starter (ether) and water to create methamphetamine.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source:  Deborah Hasting, “Children are the silent and small victims of skyrocketing number of home meth labs,” New York Daily News, July 24, 2013.


An estimated 1.4 billion methamphetamine tablets, known as Yaba in the region, are produced each year in the Golden Triangle region consisting of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand.

The street value of the tablets are estimated to be worth $8.5 Billion a year.

In Thailand, there are an estimated 600,000 yaba users in the country.

(Methamphetamine Facts and Statistics.)

Source:  AFP, “Thailand Fights Drug Gangs In Golden Triangle With Help From China,” Huffington Post, July 18, 2013.

In 2011, a reported 1.4 million people in the United States used cocaine, down from the 2.6 million people who used the illegal drug in 2006.

The number of people addicted to cocaine also dropped in 2011, with 800,000 people claiming that they were addicted, compared to 1.7 million cocaine addicts in 2006. The number of first time uses of cocaine also dropped with 670,000 first time users in 2011, compared to 1 million back in 2002.

The number of people who overdosed from cocaine in the United States in 2010 was 4,183. In 2006, there were 7,448 deaths related to cocaine overdose.

(More statistics about cocaine abuse and trafficking.)

Source: Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, “Cocaine use: Will the factors behind its steady decline continue?,” Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 2013.

There were 378 heroin related deaths that occurred in the US State of Maryland in 2012. The number of heroin overdoses was 54 percent higher than the 245 deaths recorded in 2011.

(More facts about heroin addiction.)

The total number of alcohol and drug related deaths in the state in 2012 was 761, up from the 663 deaths in 2011.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  Associated Press, “Heroin deaths up 54 percent from 2011 to 2012 in Maryland,” Washington Post, July 10, 2013.

In an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, it was reported that women in Texas are able to purchase abortion pills on the black market. The pills, sold under the brand name Cytotec, requires a prescription and is prescribed by doctors to prevent stomach ulcers. The pill has also been shown to induce abortions.

Women in Texas purchase the pills near the Mexican border for $40. If the woman were to go to a legitimate family planning center, a pharmaceutical abortion would cost $550.

(More black market prices.)

Source:  Esme E. Deprez, “Texas Threat to Abortion Clinics Dodged at Flea Markets,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 11, 2013.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that the amount of cocaine produced in the Andes region in 2012 was down 10 percent from the previous year.

Bolivia produced 155 metric tons of pure cocaine in 2012, down 18 percent from 2011.

Colombia produced 175 metric tons, down 7.9 percent from the previous year.

Peru produced 290 metric tons, down 4.9 percent from the year before.

In the span of 10 years, the amount of cocaine produced in the region declined by 41 percent.

The three countries are the largest producers of cocaine in the world, with the United States being the largest consumers of cocaine worldwide.

Source:  Eric Martin, “Cocaine Output in Andes Region Falls 10% Amid Eradication Effort,” Bloomberg, July 9, 2013.