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.

Drug traffickers at the border of Brazil pay $50 per kilogram of cocaine that is being smuggled into the country from Bolivia. The cocaine is then moved further inland and sold for $250 per kilogram. Then, traffickers finally sell the kilogram of cocaine for $6,000 in major Brazilian cities such as Sao Paulo.

(See the price of cocaine worldwide.)

Source:  Juan Forero, “Brazil tries to fight cocaine trafficking at huge, porous borders,” Washington Post, January 24, 2013.

At the largest seaport in Italy, Gioia Tauro, duffel bags filled with cocaine is smuggled into the country through shipping containers that were packed in Central or South America. The bags are filled with super-pure cocaine weighing about 40 to 45 kilograms. The bags are light enough that one man can quickly lift and remove the bag before Customs inspectors can search the container.

The cocaine in each bag has a wholesale value of $3 Million (€2.25 Million). If all of the cocaine in a single bag was sold on the streets of Europe, the value of the cocaine would be $12 Million (€9 Million).

(More prices of cocaine by country.)

Police seized over two tons of cocaine at the port of Gioia Tauro in 2012, more than double the amount of cocaine seized in 2011. However, according to the Interior Ministry, 90 percent of these types of bags are able to reach its destination and passes through Customs in Italy.

Source:  Steve Scherer, “Insight: Smuggling, soccer and the mafia,” Reuters, January 24, 2013.

A drug smuggler who was arrested by police in Indonesia told police that the drug traffickers were paying him $311 (3 Million Indonesian Rupiah) per trip, according to the Jakarta Post.  The man was carrying $124,600 (1.2 Billion Rupiah) worth of crystal methamphetamine when he was arrested.

(Crystal meth facts and statistics from around the world.)

Crystal meth is commonly known as “shabu” in the region. High quality meth can be sold for up to $228 on the black market in Indonesia, while lower quality meth is sold for as little as $88 per gram.

(Methamphetamine prices worldwide.)

Source:  Ansyor Idrus, “Palembang Police seize Rp 1.2b worth of crystal meth,” Jakarta Post, January 21, 2013.

The Federal Drug Service reported that it seized 106 tons of illegal drugs in Russia in 2012.

Almost 30 tons of the illegal drugs was marijuana, and 5.7 tons was opiates.

The amount seized in 2012 was 70 percent higher than the total haul in 2011.

Source:  “Russia nets major drug haul in 2012,” RT, January 15, 2013.

Between 2000 and 2009, there were a reported 8,625 drug-related deaths in Los Angeles County in the US state of California. Out of these deaths, 61 percent were due to prescription drugs overdose or over-the-counter medications.

According to a report by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Heath, 11 percent of the county’s 9th graders and 14 percent of the 11th graders admitted to misusing prescription drugs within the past year.

(See all prescription drugs statistics.)

Between 2005 and 2010, there were over 6,500 admissions into publicly funded substance abuse centers where prescription drugs were reported as the main issue. Over 70 percent of these cases were for treatment for opioid pain relievers.

(All United States Crime Statistics.)

Source:  “Prescription Drug Abuse in Los Angeles County: Background and Recommendations for Action,” Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, January 2013.


The had of the anti-narcotics police in Iran told the news media that over a ton of illegal drugs is seized each day from drug smugglers. 1,286 kilograms of drugs (2,835 pounds) are reportedly seized by police each day.

Around 30 smugglers and drug addicts are identified by police every hour in Iran.

Source:  Associated Press “Report: Iran confiscates over a ton of narcotics a day,” Washington Post, January 13, 2013.

The Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there were over 250,000 drug addicts in Greece at the start of 2013. Over 10,000 of the drug addicts inject themselves with the use of needles.

The rise of injecting drug users (IDU) in Greece has caused the rate of HIV infections to rise, according to public health programsl. In 2010, there were between 10 to 15 new HIV infections amongst drug users in Greece each year. In 2011, the number of infections rose to 256. In the first six months of 2012, new HIV infection cases hit 314 cases.

HIV infections are also spreading due to many drug addicts turning to prostitution to feed their daily habits. A prostitute recently discovered that she was HIV positive after men would pay more to have sex without a condom.

The prostitute stated that most of her clients are married middle aged Greek men who pay between $12 to $19 (10 to 15 Euros) for sex.

(More prostitute sex prices worldwide.)

Source:  Fragkiska Megaloudi, “Crisis Changes Habits of Drug Addicts; Death Toll Rising in Greece,” Greek Reporter, January 7, 2013.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

According to statistics released by the Iranian Government, nearly 4,000 police officers from Iran have been killed over the past 33 years due to drug trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan.

Iran shares a 900 kilometer border with Afghanistan. Drug traffickers cross the border and transport opium in order to reach the illegal drugs markets of Europe.

(More statistics about heroin trafficking and abuse.)

Source: “UN lauds Iran’s effective role in fighting drug trafficking,” Press TV, January 6, 2013.

At the end of 2011, the Chinese Government stated that there were 1.79 million people who were officially registered as drug addicts in China. Back in 1990, there were 70,000 registered addicts, which means that the number of drug addicts in China increased annually by 16 percent.

Around 32 percent of HIV contractions in the country was due to intravenous drug use.

64.5 percent of the drug addicts were addicted to heroin, and 32.7 percent were addicted to synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and ecstasy.

The number of total drug addicts in China that are not officially registered with the government could be as high as 15 Million.

(Prices of illegal drugs and other contraband.)

Source:  Charles Zhu, “China’s Growing Appetite for New Kinds of Luxury Goods: Illegal Drugs,” Atlantic, January 4, 2013.

The city of Osh in Kyrgyzstan is reported to be the drug capital of Central Asia, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Due to the city’s geographic location, the city is used as a key transit point for drug trafficking routes in Central Asia. Heroin is trafficked from Afghanistan into Tajikistan, and into Osh, where is it then moved to Kazakhstan onto its main destination of Russia.

(More heroin facts and statistics.)

Anti-narcotics agencies in the city seized over six tons of various illegal drugs in 2012. Included in the seizures was over 76 kilograms of heroin, 51 kilograms of hashish, and over 1 ton of cannabis.

(More facts on marijuana abuse.)

Along with the transportation of drugs, many city residents also abuse the illegal drugs. There were 1,400 registered drug addicts in the city. but health officials believe that the number of addicts is actually 10 times higher.

Source:  “Central Asia’s ‘Drug Capital’ Fights To Stem Tide Of Narcotics,” Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, January 4, 2013.