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.

78 million people living in the European Union, or 20 percent of all Europeans, have tried marijuana at least once in their life. In 2010, around 22.5 million people living in the European Union used marijuana.

(Marijuana prices in Europe and around the world.)

Source: Alan Travis, ” Rise in use of cocaine has peaked, says EU drug agency report,” Guardian, November 15, 2011.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration reported that more and more drug traffickers are smuggling OxyContin from Canada into the United States.

Canadians can legally purchase OxyContin with a prescription for about $5 per pill. On the black market in the United States, that same pill can be sold between $80 to $100.

(Latest prescription drug abuse statistics.)

Source: Julian Sher, “OxyContin smuggling from Canada rises sharply,” Globe and Mail, November 14, 2011.

Across the United States, there has been a surge in the number of newborn babies who are being born addicted to prescription drugs due to their mothers addiction.

In Florida,1,374 babies were reported with withdrawal syndrome from prescription drugs in 2010, an increase from 354 in 2006.

In a single hospital in Maine, 121 babes were born addicted to prescription pain killers in 2010, up from 18 in 2001.

In a hospital in Tennessee, 106 new born babies received treatment for being addicted to pain killers in 2010, up from less than 40 in 2008.

In Tampa, Florida, 40 babies born in the first 9 months of 2011 needed to receive additional care due to being addicted to pain killers, an increase of 33 percent from 2010.

Source: Donna Leinwand Leger, ” Doctors see surge in newborns hooked on mothers’ pain pills,” USA Today, November 14, 2011.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates 440,000 kilograms of pure cocaine was consumed around the world in 2009. Around 1.1 million kilograms of cocaine was produced around the world, with 615,000 kilograms being seized and 55,000 kilograms of cocaine being lost in agriculture losses.

Source: John Mulholland, “Juan Manuel Santos: ‘It is time to think again about the war on drugs’,” Guardian, November 13, 2011.

According to a report by the Associated Press, between 2006 and November 2011, 25 mayors have been killed across Mexico by drug traffickers.

Source: Associated Press, “Mexican democracy tested by drug lords in politics,” November 12, 2011.


Between 2006 and 2011, the economic impact of the drug war in Mexico has cost the country $120 Billion in security spending and lost investments, according to Bulltick Capital Markets.

Source: Michael Riley, “Mexico’s Drug War Takes to the Blogosphere,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, November 9, 2011.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration reports that in 2011 less than 3 percent of all drugs smuggled into the United States enter through ocean routes. The majority of the drugs entering the county enter over land through Mexico.

Source: Associated Press, “US official: Drug traffic may return to Caribbean,” San Francisco Chronicle, November 8, 2011.

The Chief Executive of the Australian Crime Commission stated that cocaine traffickers sell their product in Australia at markups of 8,000 percent.

(More facts about cocaine abuse)

Source: Dylan Welch, “Cash laundering a huge criminal growth industry,” Age, November 7, 2011.

New York City police arrest around 50,000 people ever year for marijuana possession, leading to one out of every seven case in the city’s criminal court system.

Source: Associated Press, “A Little Pot Is Trouble In NYC: 50k Busts A Year,” NPR, November 5, 2011.

As of November 2011, there were an estimated 8,000 members of the guerrilla group FARC in Colombia, down from the high of 17,000.

The group earns revenue through black market activities such as drug trafficking and kidnapping for ransom.

Source: Sarah Maslin Nir and Simon Romero, “Leader of FARC Guerrilla Movement Is Killed in Combat, Colombian Officials Say,” New York Times, November 5, 2011.