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.

As of July 2013, there were around 400 Nigerians who were serving jail time in China’s prisons, according to the Nigerian Ambassador to China.

80 percent of those serving time, or around 300, were serving time in China for drug trafficking offenses.

In addition, 80 percent of the crimes in China that are committed by people from Africa are committed by people from Nigeria, according to the Ambassador.

Source:  Muhammad Bello, “Nigeria: Wali – 300 Nigerians Held in Chinese Prisons for Drug Trafficking,” allAfrica, July 9, 2013.

180.6 million people around the world use marijuana or cannabis type products, according to the 2013 World Drug Report.

The number of marijuana users consists of 3.9 percent of the world’s population aged between 15 to 64.

The black market in marijuana is estimated to be worth $141 Billion.

Source:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “World Drug Report 2013,” Executive Summary, June 2013, page xi.

Based on the most recent available data published in the 2013 World Drug Report, the United Nations estimates that up to 155,600 hectares of land was devoted to cocaine cultivation around the world in 2011. The number was roughly in line with the global estimates from 2010, but 14 percent lower from the 2007 estimates, and 30 percent lower from the 2000 world estimates.

Out of the total areas available for cultivation, between 776 tons to 1,051 tons of pure cocaine was manufactured.

In terms of cocaine seizures, Colombia seized 200 tons of cocaine during 2011, followed by the United States which seized 94 tons of cocaine.

(Price of cocaine around the world.)

Source:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “World Drug Report 2013,” Executive Summary, June 2013, page x.

The 2013 World Drug Report stated that there were 14 million people around the world between the ages of 15 – 64 who inject illegal drugs into their bodies in 2011.

Out of that total number of drug users, up to 1.6 million people are living with HIV.

Based on 2008 statistics, the number of injecting drug users was down 12 percent, and the number of injecting drug users living with HIV was down 46 percent.

Source:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “World Drug Report 2013,” Executive Summary, June 2013, page ix.

According to the 2013 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an estimated 211,000 people died in 2011 to drug related causes around the world. The UNODC states that most of the deaths were among the younger population of users and most were preventable.

Overdosing on opioids such as heroin and prescription painkillers was the most commonly reported groups of drugs that caused deaths in 2011.

(Heroin prices by gram worldwide.)

Source:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “World Drug Report 2013,” Executive Summary, June 2013, page ix.

The director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean  stated that Mexican drug cartels made up to $10 Billion in 2012 from the sexual services and labor exploitation of human trafficking victims.

A different non-governmental organization, Asahac, estimated that over half of the migrants from Central American who are attempting to enter the United States are captured either by human traffickers or human smuggling rings.

Source: Isabella Cota, “Central America’s drug cartels turn their attention to trafficking people,” Guardian, July 4, 2013.

Over 30,000 people in Canada are authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes.

In 2010, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) found that 70 medical marijuana license holders were violating their agreement. Out of the 70, the RCMP found that in 40 of the cases the individual was trafficking marijuana for profit.

(See more marijuana facts here.)

In a declassified intelligence report, the RCMP stated that marijuana users were using a family member without a criminal conviction to obtain the medical license, and that organized crime groups were using associates to obtain licenses.  One case highlighted by the RCMP found that an individual with a medical marijuana license was growing up to 80 kilograms a year and producing marijuana worth $618,000 (650,000 Canadian) a year.

In a separate media report, another individual stated that he made about $114,000 (120,000 CAD) a year selling the marijuana that he cultivated from his medical marijuana license.

(Marijuana prices around the world.)

Source:  Jim Bronskill, “Medical marijuana: Crime networks exploiting Canada’s program, RCMP says,” Toronto Star, July 3, 2013.

6,631 women in the United States died from overdosing on opiate pain relievers in 2010. The number of deaths was a five-fold increase from the 1,287 deaths in 1999, according to the Center for Disease Control.

In 2010, the number of men in the United States who died from overdosing on prescription painkillers was 10,020.

In total, the CDC reported that on average about 42 women in the United States die from overdosing on all forms of drugs. Around 18 women die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers.

943,356 women were admitted into emergency rooms across the country in 2010 due to abusing drugs or misusing them.

Health experts stated that pain killing drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl are more likely to be prescribed to women and to receive higher doses.

Source:  JoNel Aleccia, “Opiate overdose deaths ‘skyrocketed’ in women, CDC finds,” NBC News, July 3, 2013.

According to the United States Department of State, 9 percent of all illegal drugs that entered the United States in 2012 came from the Caribbean.

In 2011, the percentage of illegal drugs entering from the Caribbean was between 4 to 5 percent.

Source: Associated Press, “Official: Drug trafficking up in the Caribbean,” ABC News, June 27, 2013.

Police in Myanmar announced that they arrested over 5,700 drug offenders in the country in 2012. The number of arrests were the highest on record, according to news reports. The arrests were the results of over 4,000 drug related investigations conducted by 26 ant-narcotics units.

Myanmar supplies 10 percent of the world’s opium and is the second largest producer after Afghanistan.

Source:  May Wong, “Myanmar steps up measures against drug trafficking,” Channel News Asia, June 26, 2013.