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.

Three babies are born every day in the United Kingdom who are addicted to heroin or other illegal drugs.

Birth statistics from the Department of Health  shows that over 5,500 babies have been born within the past 5 years who were addicted to heroin, crack cocaine and other drugs at the time of their birth.

The babies are given opiates within their first few hours of life in order to help the baby deal with “neonatal withdrawal symptoms”.

(See all facts and statistics about heroin addiction.)

Throughout the UK, an estimated 350,000 children are believed to be living with parents who abuse illegal drugs.

(Find prices of how much it cost to buy heroin.)

Source: Amanda Williams, “Drug addict babies: Three born every day are already hooked on heroin and cocaine,” Daily Mail, January 2, 2013.

Crime statistics released by the National Police in Indonesia shows that law enforcement handled 25,561 cases of drug smuggling in 2012. The number includes both domestic smuggling and transnational cases.

The National Police handled a total of 16,138 cases of cross-border crime, which media reports state involved mostly drug smuggling incidents.

In addition to its anti-narcotics campaigns, the police force dismissed 595 personnel for various ethics violations and police corruption. 106 police officers were released due to being implicated in criminal matters, and 32 police officers were involved in drug cases.

Source:  “As transnational crime rises, police make friends overseas,” Jakarta Post, December 29, 2012.

The black market value of drug trafficking within Saudi Arabia is estimated to be worth $6.1 Billion (23 Billion Saudi Riyal), according to a university symposium in 2012.

(See drug trafficking values by countries.)

Source: “Drug trafficking ‘worth SR23b’,” Saudi Gazette, December 22, 2012.

Criminal justice programs in Venezuela announced that over 45 tons of illegal drugs was seized in the country in 2012. Over 60 percent of the illicit drugs were cocaine, with 27.17 tons of cocaine being seized by police. The remainder of the drugs were mostly marijuana seizures.

In addition to the drugs, authorities in Venezuela arrest 20 major drug traffickers. Between 2006 and 2012, security agencies across the country reported 95 major traffickers were arrested in Venezuela.

36 clandestine landing strips and 18 planes that were used for transporting narcotics were also seized by police in 2012.

Source:  Edward Fox, “Venezuela Narcotics Seizures Up in 2012,” Insight Crime, December 21, 2012.

Anti-Narcotics officials in Bolivia reported that 37 cocaine processing labs were discovered within the country and 36 tons of cocaine was seized by police during 2012. Most of the cocaine seized in the country was smuggled from Peru.

In addition to the labs, law enforcement agencies seized 10 planes and destroyed 10 landing strips that were being used to trafficking cocaine.

(See prices of cocaine worldwide.)

Source:  Jack Davis, “Bolivia Seized 10 Narco Planes in 2012,” Insight Crime, December 20, 2012.


A farmer working in the cocaine trade in Peru can make up to $9,860 a year selling bags of coca leaves. If that same farmer was growing coffee instead, the farmer would make $1,554 a year.

(Additional under the table jobs and illegal profits from crime.)

Source:  Fredric Faux, “Dispatch From The Heart Of Peru’s Cocaine War,” Worldcrunch, December 21, 2012.

The Attorney General of Mexico stated in December 2012 that there were between 60 to 80 small to medium size organizations that were involved in illegal drug activities across Mexico in 2012. The number reported at the end of 2012 was higher than the 8 large drug cartels that were active in April of 2012.

Source:  Associated Press, “Mexico says some 80 cartels at work in country,” Google News, December 19, 2012.

A survey released by the National Institute of Health found that the risks of marijuana use by teenagers in the United States was at the lowest levels in years.

When asked if they thought that occasional use of marijuana was harmful, 41.7 percent of eight graders said that it is. When asked if regular use of the drug was harmful, 66.9 percent of eight graders stated agreed with the statement. The percentages for both questions was at the lowest levels since the federal government started asking the age group these questions in 1991.

When the question was asked to 12th graders, 20.6 percent stated that occasional use of the drug use was harmful, and 44.1 percent stated that regular use of the drug was harmful. The reported amount was the lowest levels for high school seniors since 1979.

In 2012, roughly 6.5 percent of 12th graders smoked cannabis daily, up from 5.1 percent in 2007.

Source:  Associated Press, “Federal survey finds teens’ perception of marijuana dangers falls to 20-year low despite risks,” Washington Post, December 19, 2012.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, heroin was the most abused drug in Taiwan in 2012. Between January and October, 66.8 percent of substance abuse cases handled by the criminal justice system involved heroin. It was the sixth straight year that heroin was the most abused drug in Taiwan.

After heroin, amphetamine accounted for 33.1 percent of substance abuse cases in Taiwan, followed by the abuse of the veterinary medicine ketamine, which accounted for 5 percent of cases.

Insomnia drug Zolpidem was the fourth abused drug in Taiwan with 4.3 percent of cases involving the prescription drug. Ecstasy rounded out the top five with 3.4 percent of cases.

(All prescription drug abuse statistics.)

Source:  “FDA announces top five drugs abused in Taiwan this year,” Taipei Times, December 16, 2012.

In 2010, there were 461,028 people who were admitted to emergency rooms in the United States for marijuana related causes.

In the same year, 11,406 people were admitted to emergency rooms across the country for synthetic marijuana related causes. In 59 percent of the cases, the synthetic marijuana was the only drug found in the person’s system, with 36 percent of the patients consuming more than one drug. 78 percent of the patients were men.

(More marijuana facts and figures.)

Synthetic marijuana has grown in popularity in the United States since it was first introduced in 2008. Sold under names such as Spice and K2, they are made using a blend of herbal spices and sprayed with synthetic compounds. In a 2011 survey of high school students, marijuana was the most used drug of seniors, followed by synthetic marijuana.

(Price of weed around the world.)

Source:  Michelle Castillo, “Synthetic marijuana sent more than 11,400 people to ER in 2010,” CBS News, December 4, 2012.