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.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, around 25 percent of all legitimate pharmaceutical drugs made in the world is available to buy on the black market.

The director general of WADA stated the scale of the available of drugs after a scientist with the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow was caught selling a drug that was still in the testing phase on the black market. WADA stated that many drugs that are still in the Research and Development phase of the drug was already available on the black market.

(Additional statistics about illegal pharmaceutical drugs.)

Source:  Owen Gibson, “Wada warns that around 25% of world’s drugs are sold on the black market,” Guardian, February 5, 2014.

According to data analyzed by NBC News, there are roughly 325 marijuana companies licensed to operate marijuana dispensaries in Denver, Colorado. Between 2011 and 2013, there have been about 317 burglaries and 7 robberies reported by these companies during the two year period. Thus, the annual robbery and burglary rate is about 50 percent.

On average, every marijuana-related business in the city of Denver can expect to be robbed or burglarized at least once every two years.

(Additional marijuana facts and statistics.)

The rate of crime has lead to a new industry of provided security services to weed dispensaries. One company, the Blue Line Protection Group, was formed in August 2013 by a former veteran who served in Afghanistan. The company has landed about 30 contracts to provide security to marijuana shops. The company employs over 40 security guards, many of which have special ops experience. The company charges between $5,000 to $15,000 for its security protection.

(How much does marijuana cost?)

Source:  Tony Dokoupil and Bill Briggs, “High Crimes: Robber Gangs Terrorize Colorado Pot Shops,” NBC News, February 5, 2014.

The number of deaths related to heroin abuse in New York City increased by 84 percent between 2010 and 2012. In 2010, the death rate was 3.1 per 100,000 residents due to causes related to heroin. By 2012, the rate increased to 5.7.

In neighboring Long Island, the number of heroin abusers entering drug treatment centers increased to 767 in January 2014, In 2009, the drug rehab centers were averaging 100 heroin abusers per month.  Public health programs in neighboring states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Vermont all have seen similar increases in heroin addiction.

The trends in the Northeastern US is similar to the rise across the country. Between 2007 and 2012, the rate of heroin abuse in the United States increased by 79 percent. A total of 669,000 people in the US reported that they used heroin in 2012.

Many of the heroin abusers originally become addicted to prescription drugs. 80 percent of the people who used heroin in 2011 was also involved in prescription drug abuse. While hooked to prescription pain kills, the user turns to heroin due to its cheaper cost. For example, in Long Island, a pill of the painkiller Vicodin costs $30 on the black market. A bag of heroin, which can offer the same high, is sold for $10.

(The cost of heroin on the black market.)

The heroin being sold in the United States is also becoming stronger. In the 1970s, the heroin seized on the streets by police were later found to have a 5 percent purity level.  In 2014, the heroin being sold has a 60 to 70 percent purity.

Source:  Carol Chen and Del Quentin Wilber, “Heroin Resurgence Sparked by Cheap Cost, Easy Access,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 3, 2014.

A drug dealer in Australia stated that he makes up to $30,000 (35,000 Australian Dollars) a week selling cocaine to users across the country.

(Income from illegal jobs.)

Criminal justice programs in Australia have reported that the amount of cocaine entering the country has increased in recent years. In 2011, border security officials detected 486 incidents of cocaine entering Australia. In 2012, the number of cocaine detections increased to 979. In addition to the increase in cocaine entering the county, drug dealers have stated that they have enough cocaine stockpiled to last 18 months.

It was previously reported that the cocaine abusers in Australia had a higher than average income. However, authorities in Australia have found that cocaine use is spreading out to working class areas.

(How much does cocaine cost?)

Source:  “Cocaine has become Sydney’s drug of choice with drug dealers reaping up to $35,000 a week from users,”, February 1, 2014.

A reader of Havocscope submitted data regarding the cost of heroin on the black market of Massachusetts.

According to the data, one gram of heroin costs $80 in the city of Boston.

In the city of Worcester, the price for  a gram of heroin increased to $100.

In the far east portion of the state, a gram of heroin for sale in Cape Cod goes for $200.

See all reader submitted data on illegal drugs or submit additional data.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  User Submitted Data, Received on February 1, 2014.


According to data submitted by a reader to Havocscope, the street price for high quality marijuana in Miami is between $10 to $15 per gram.

Cannabis Oil for sale in Miami, Florida is usually offered at prices of $50 to $65, according to the submitted data.

(See all user submitted data on the black market.)

The marijuana is readily available in the night life area of Miami and is generally of high quality. The weed for sale in Miami is mostly grown locally, although there are marijuana available for sale on the black market that has been shipped in from California.

(How much does marijuana cost around the world?)

Source:  User Submitted Data to Havocscope, Received on January 29, 2014.

According to various media reports, women who are pregnant in the United Kingdom are buying abortion pills at online websites that sell the pill on the black market.

The women are paying $128 (£78) for an abortion pill that they buy from websites. The abortion pills are sold by East Asian organized crime gangs selling the pills online.

In 2013, authorities shut down over 1,200 websites that were illegally selling medicines and pills to customers in the United Kingdom.

Health agencies have stated that buying abortion pills online can have a negative impact on a woman’s health, and may even cause death if the dosage are wrong. Women in the UK can visit abortion clinics and other public health programs for confidential appointments.

The sale of abortion pill is not just concentrated in the UK. Women in the United States also buy pills to induce abortions from black market sources as well. Women in Texas have been reported buying an abortion pill for $40 on the Mexican border.

(Additional statistics about prescription drug abuse.)

Source:  Lizzie Dearden, “Pregnant teenage girls taking deadly black market abortion pills, investigation finds,” Independent, January 25, 2014.

Data from the Australian Crime Commission shows that there are more people arrested for steroid use in Queensland than in any other state in Australia.

58 percent of all steroids arrests in Australia in 2011 to 2012 took place in Queensland. According to preliminary data collected from national criminal justice programs, Queensland will also have the most steroids arrests when the 2012-2013 report is released. In neighboring state New South Wales, 74 percent of young men who used illegal drugs used steroids.

Security officials state that many young men are traveling to Thailand in order to obtain steroids. The men stay in Thailand for 3 to 6 months to complete a cycle of steroids. In addition to Thailand, men purchase steroids on the black market from biker gangs (bikies) in Australia, or from dealers in local gyms.

Police stress that the men who are taking steroids are not taking them for any athletic competition, but rather to improve their image. Users have been found to combine the steroids with methamphetaminesto lose weight. These users then go to nightclubs in the Gold Coast in order to show off their new bodies. The steroids, which causes mood swings, combined with ice and alcohol has lead to reports of violence in Gold Coast. Police have reported that up to six officers were needed to restrain a man high on the combination who got out of control.

(Additional facts about meth users.)

Source:  Daniel Meers, “Cocktail of steroids, ice and alcohol breeding ‘super thugs’ behind street violence,” Courier Mail, January 25, 2014.

According to the director of a criminal justice program operating in the country, around 30 percent of students in Bulgaria have used some type of illegal drugs in their lifetimes.

The most used drugs by students in the country were amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine.

The drug use by students was concentrated in the bigger cities of Bulgaria, where the illegal drug trade was more developed.

(Price of cocaine per gram around the world.)

Source:  “30% of Bulgarian pupils have taken some type of drugs: expert,” Focus News Agency, January 24, 2014.

Criminal justice programs and agencies across Brazil reported their illegal drugs seizures for 2013.

Across the country, 35.7 tons of cocaine and 220.7 tons of marijuana were seized in 2013. In addition to the drugs, $34.1 Million in assets that were held by drug traffickers were also seized.

The border regions of Brazil has seen a large increase in crack cocaine and other trafficking activities due to its borders with Bolivia and Peru.  A kilogram of cocaine is sold for about $1,200 in the border region, but when trafficked further into the country the same kilogram of cocaine can be sold at a profit of 6 times.

(The price of coke per gram.)

In addition, drug use has increased in the border towns. According to social workers in the region, a gram of cocaine can be split up into a dozen crack cocaine rocks and sold to drug users for $0.85 (2 Brazilian Real).

Source:  Nelza Oliveira, “Acre: A drug-trafficking route becomes a consumer market,” Infosurhoy, January 21, 2014.