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.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that the value of cocaine trafficked through West Africa and sold in Europe was worth $1.25 Billion at the end of 2012. The value of the cocaine increased from the estimated $800 Million in June 2011.

Source:  Associated Press, “Cocaine from West Africa gets billion in Europe,” Jakarta Post, February 26, 2013.

According to the Government of Afghanistan, around 191,500 rural households in the country were dependent on growing illicit drugs as their source of income in 2011. Most of the households were growing opium.

(How much is the price of heroin?)

Source:  Dawood Azami, “Why Afghanistan may never eradicate opium,” BBC News, February 25, 2013.

According to Japanese Custom Officials, there were 31 cases of attempted drug smuggling from Africa into Japan in 2012. A total of 81 kilograms of illegal drugs was detected by Customs.

The number of drugs attempting to enter Japan from Africa has continued to grow within the past several years. In 2007, there were 0 cases of smuggling from Africa. In 2008, there were 8 cases of smuggling involving 8 kilograms of stimulants. In 2010, there were 43 cases of drug smuggling involving 144 kilograms, and in 2011 there were 44 cases involving 84 kilograms of drugs.

Since 2010, the number of drug smuggling cases from Africa has outnumbered the amount of drug smuggling cases from China.

(Additional methamphetamine facts and statistics.)

Source:  “Stimulants smuggled into Japan increasingly from unstable African nations,” Mainichi, February 23, 2013.

A kilogram of cocaine that is produced in South America costs between $1,000 to $2,000. It is then smuggled across the Pacific Ocean to Bali, Indonesia, where it is sold to drug traffickers at a price between $20,000 to $90,000.

The cocaine is then sold to Australia for it is sold for $250,000.

(See more cocaine prices by country.)

Source:  Kathryn Bonella, “The darker side of Bali: Drugs, mules and tourism,” CNN, February 25, 2013.

Around one-third of drug users in Indonesia, or 1.2 million people,  are addicted to crystal meth. One-fifth of drug users, or 950,000 people, are addicted to ecstasy.

Around 60 percent of the crystal meth and ecstasy consumed in Indonesia is locally produced, and around 60 percent of its users are under the age of 30.

Many of the meth and ecstasy production factories are located in West Jakarta, with the operators of the factories having ethic Chinese ties.

Security officials in the country seized 1,161 kilograms of crystal meth in 2011, an increase of 79 percent from the 649 kilograms seized in 2010.

62 percent of all drug arrests in 2011 involved crystal meth, compared to 53 percent in 2010 and 38 percent in 2009.

77 percent of all women who were arrested for drug crimes in 2011 involved crystal meth.

(See all facts about methamphetamine here.)

Source:  Straits Times, “Indonesia’s Drug Spread ‘Alarming’,” Jakarta Globe, February 22, 2013.

Source:  “Crystalline methamphetamine now Indonesia’s “primary illicit drugs threat”, UNODC says,” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, February 20, 2013.


A Special Agent for ICE Homeland Security Investigation reported to the media that Mexican Drug Cartels are recruiting teenagers to smuggle drugs into the United States from Mexico.

The cartels recruit both American and Mexican children from malls, outside schools and through social media. Some have been as young as 12.

The children tape up to six kilograms to their body underneath their clothing, and they are able to make on average between $75 to $300 per trip across the border.

Source:  Tony Shin and Monica Garske, “Teen Recruits Smuggling Drugs Across Border: Feds,” NBC7 San Diego, November 16, 2012.

In 2008, the police department in Louisville, Kentucky arrested 32 people for heroin charges. In 2012, the number of heroin arrests increased to 779, a 2,334 percent increase.

In addition to the rise in arrests, the number of heroin seized by police has risen as well. In 2008, police seized 104.4 grams of heroin. In 2012, the amount of heroin seized increased to 7,087 grams, an increase of 6,688 percent.

(Street prices of heroin worldwide.)

In some Louisville Police Department Districts, police attribute 80 percent of thefts and burglaries to heroin addicts looking to make money in order to feed their habit.

At one drug abuse center, the director told the press that up to 90 percent of their calls are related to heroin addiction.

Source:  Erick Flack, “Heroin use skyrockets impacting families, community,” WAVE 3 News, February 11, 2013.

Police and Security Agencies across Russia arrested 88,000 people for drug trafficking and other drug-related charges within the country in 2012. Police also seized 85 tons of illegal drugs across the country during the year.

Around 8.5 million people in Russia are reported to be addicted to drugs.

Source:  Stephen Blank, “Russia: Anti-Drug Trafficking Light Goes on in the Kremlin, but It’s Low Wattage,” Eurasianet, February 4, 2013.

According to the national survey of drug abusers in the country, the number of illegal drugs users in Mexico rose by 87 percent between 2002 and 2011.

1.5 percent of respondents to the survey reported using an illegal drug in 2011, compared to 0.8 percent in 2002.

In the capital of Mexico City, 45 percent of the 12-14 year old who used illegal drugs within the previous sniffed inhalants.

The highest levels of drug abuse in the country is in the north along the border with the United States, where 2.3 percent of the population abuse drugs. Most of the drugs used in this region is methamphetamine and heroin, which is also the illegal drugs that are smuggled into the United States.

The rate of heroin production in Mexico tripled between 2004 and 2012.

Source:  Laura Vilagran, “As Mexico’s traffickers ship drugs north, they leave addicts in their wake,” Christian Science Monitor, January 25, 2013.

Between 2007 and 2011, the rate of heroin abuse in the United States increased by 66 percent, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The seizures of heroin by the Drug Enforcement Administration doubled between 2008 and 2012, while arrests have risen by a third.

Heroin deaths in portions of the country also increased during the decade. In Dane County, Wisconsin, deaths from drug overdoses increased from 31 in 2007 to 175 deaths in 3011. Most of the deaths were caused by heroin.

(See all heroin addiction statistics and facts here.)

In Will County Illinois, there were 5 deaths related to heroin in 2000. In 2012, there were 53.

In the State of Missouri, there were 69 heroin-related deaths in 2007. In 2011, the number of deaths increased to 244, with over half of the deaths between the age of 15 – 35.

Heroin abusers are able to buy a tenth of heroin for $20, enough heroin for two to three uses. It is also being sold in powder form, which is how many young users are being introduced to the drug. Eventually, the users switch over to injecting heroin.

(How much does it cost to buy heroin?)

Source:  Richard Mertens, “Heroin: Small cities, even rural towns face growing problems,” Christian Science Monitor, January 25, 2013.