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.

In a survey of 12th graders in the United States, 5.5 percent of the respondents stated that they have gotten high off cough syrup.

Sizzurp is the term used when mixing prescription strength cough syrup with flavored beverages of candy such as Jolly Ranchers.

(Latest prescription drug abuse statistics.)

Source:  Melissa Leon, “Lil Wayne Hospitalization: What the Hell Is Sizzurp?,” Daily Beast, March 17, 2013.

In 2007, there were 1,500 hectares of illicit opium poppy cultivation in Laos, according to the United Nations.

In 2012, the hectares of illicit cultivation increased to 6,800.

Various criminal justice programs across the country eradicated about 700 hectares of opium poppy and destroyed 12 kilograms of heroin in 2012.

(Additional heroin trafficking statistics.)

Source: International Narcotics Control Board, 2012 Report, United Nation, March 5, 2013, page 80.

The Government of India estimates that there are around 15 metric tons of heroin that is illegally produced in the country each year. The amount of heroin produced in the country makes up to 3 percent of the world’s supply of heroin.

In 2011, security officials seized 438 kilograms of heroin in India, down from the 550 kilograms of heroin seized in 2010.

(Cost of heroin per gram worldwide.)

Source:  “2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: India,” United States Department of State, March 5, 2013.

There were 705 opioid deaths in Australia in 2010, nearly doubled the 360 deaths in 2007.

In 2008, there were 500 people in Australia between the ages of 15 to 54 who died from accidentally overdosing of prescription painkillers.

Source:  Mellissa Davey, “Death toll rises as prescription drug abuse grows,” Age, March 17, 2013.

In the 8 months from March 2012 to November 2012, security agencies in Iran seized 1,454 kilograms of crystal meth that was being trafficking within the country. The amount seized in 2012 was significantly higher than the 2.3 kilograms seized by criminal justice departments between March 2005 to March 2006.

(More crystal methamphetamine facts and information.)

Source:  “Official Stresses Growing Volume of Crystal Meth Seizure in Iran,” Farns News Agency, March 16, 2013.


The Australian Crime Commission reported that up to 54 percent of all drug labs discovered in Australia between 2001 to 2011 were located in the state of Queensland. Most of the clandestine labs were found in residential areas.

In 2012, security officials seized nearly 25 kilograms of precursor chemicals from entering the country and its way to drug labs.

Source:  Marissa Calligeros, “Wasted Lives: the lucrative, illicit trade,” Brisbane Times, March 10, 2013.

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) reported that there were 298,752 users of heroin and crack cocaine in England during the 2010-2011 time period. The number of those two drugs were lower than the 332,090 users in 2005-2006.

(All heroin addiction statistics.)

The number of heroin and crack cocaine users entering drug treatment programs was 47,210. Back in 2006, there were 64,288 users entering treatment programs.

(All cocaine addiction statistics.)

In the 2009 to 2010 period, there were 306,150 users of heroin and crack cocaine in England.

Source:  Alan Travis, “Number of heroin and crack cocaine users falls to record low, figures show,” Guardian, March 6, 2013.

Security analysts estimate that up to 40 percent of North Korea’s total trade levels could be made up from illicit revenue. Intelligence reports state that government agencies in North Korea actively participates in criminal rackets such as counterfeiting, production and sales of methamphetamine, and the illegal exporting of missile sales.

Source: Parameswaran Ponnudurai, “Global Bid to Cripple North Korea’s Illicit Trade,” Radio Free Asia, March 5, 2013.

Representatives with the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics in Afghanistan estimate that there were over 1.5 million adults in the country who were regularly used drugs. Back in 2005, there were an estimated 920,000 drug users in Afghanistan.

25 percent of homes that had adult drug use was found to have exposed young children.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime states that no other country in the world produces as much heroin, opium and hashish as Afghanistan.

Source:  Cesar Chelala, “Afghanistan’s legacy of child opium addiction,” Japan Times, Opinion, March 1, 2013.

Sales of Methamphetamine in New Zealand is estimated to be $1.25 Billion (1.5 Billion New Zealand Dollars) a year.

(Cost of meth for sale.)

Source:  Elaine O’Connor, “Meth smuggling ring with New Zealand-Vancouver link busted,” Province, February 26, 2013.