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 2010, there were 1.1 million registered users of heroin in China, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Heroin addiction in China create a demand that leads to 70 percent of all heroin consumption in East Asia and the Pacific. The number of addicts has risen 22 percent between 2002 and 2010.

(See prices of heroin for sale on the black market.)

Source: Paul Carsten, “Myanmar opium output rises despite eradication effort,” Reuters, October 31, 2012.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 690 tons of opium was estimated to have been produced in Myanmar in 2011 to 2012. Despite government actions destroying almost 24,000 hectares of poppy fields during the 2012 harvest season, the amount of poppy cultivation in the country increased by 17 percent.

Myanmar supplies 10 percent of the world’s opium, second to Afghanistan.

Farmers growing poppies in Myanmar are able to earn 19 times more money for every hectare than they would growing rice, according to the UNODC.

(See all heroin statistics here.)

Source:  Paul Carsten, “Myanmar opium output rises despite eradication effort,” Reuters, October 31, 2012.

According to a media report in October 2012, there were around 700 people on death row in Malaysia for drug trafficking crimes. Around 600 of the people sentenced to deaths were Malaysians and 75 people were from Indonesia.

Outside of Malaysia, there were around 250 Malaysians who were arrested for drug smuggling and are sentenced to death in countries such as China, Venezuela and Peru.

Between 1960 and 2011, a reported 228 people were executed in Malaysia for drug trafficking crimes.

Source:  “Cabinet to get proposal to defer sentences of those on death row for drug trafficking,” Star, October 24, 2012.

Transnational organized crime groups steal quality cars in Brazil and are able to trade them in Bolivia for 10 kilograms of cocaine, according to security officials.

The network of car thieves is considered to be a major source of funding for organized crime groups in Bolivia.

(Price of cocaine worldwide.)

Source:  Insight Crime, “Bolivia plans crackdown on cars-for-cocaine trade,” Christian Science Monitor, October 23, 2012.

In 2012, methamphetamine from Mexico accounted for up to 80 percent of all meth used in the United States.

88 percent of the meth from Mexico is considered “pure”, which leads to a more intense and longer-lasting high. In 2007, the purity of meth from Mexico was 39 percent. The price for a gram of meth was $290 in 2007, and dropped 69 percent to $90 in 2012.

(How much does meth cost around the world?)

In 2007, law enforcement agencies seized 4,000 pounds of meth on the border between the United States and Mexico. In 2011, the amount increased to 16,000 pounds of meth.

Mexican Drug Cartels are estimated to make up to $5 Billion from meth production.

(More facts about meth addiction.)

Source:  “Mexican drug cartels flood U.S. with cheap meth,” Dallas Morning News, October 11, 2012.

According to the United Nations, Scotland has the highest cocaine use per-capita in the world, and is considered to be the worst country in the world for drug-related crimes.

Around 4 percent of 16 to 64 year olds in Scotland have used cocaine within the past year, nearly double the usage rate of the United States.

(World Cocaine Prices)

Source:  Malcolm Beith, “Scotland’s Mexican Drug Connection,” New York Times, IHT Rendezvous, October 16, 2012.

Up to 277 people leave the country of Honduras every day, according to estimates. Authorities state that ongoing violence by drug traffickers and other criminal activities are contributing to the displacement. Between 18 to 222 young adults are killed everyday in Honduras.

Between 2008 and 2012, up to 240,000 migrants from Honduras was sent back to the country.

Source:  EFE, “Organized Crime Major Cause of Displacement in Central America,” Costa Rica News, October 17, 2012.

Unofficial estimates place the number of crack cocaine users in Guinea-Bissau at between 20 to 30 percent of young adults. Users are able to buy a hit of crack for 70 cents.

Around $1 Billion of drugs is estimated to be trafficked through the country on its way to Europe’s drug market.

(More World Cocaine Prices)

Source:  Jessica Hatcher, “Guinea-Bissau: How Cocaine Transformed a Tiny African Nation,” Time, October 15, 2012.

Between 2006 and October 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists have identified 56 reporters who have been killed due to drug trafficking violence in Mexico.

Source:  Ed Vullamy, “Mexico’s drug cartels target journalists in brutal killing spree,” Guardian, October 13, 2012.

According to a six year study by the UK Drug Policy Commission, around 42,000 people in England and Wales are arrested each year for possessing illegal drugs. An additional 160,000 people are giving warnings about marijuana possession.

The report stated that the United Kingdom spends $4.8 Billion (£3 Billion) a year in fighting the illegal drug trade.

Source:  “Experts urge illegal drugs rethink,” Belfast Telegraph, October 15, 2012.