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 information submitted by readers to Havocscope,  average price to buy cocaine in Poland is $80. In the capital of Warsaw, the price of a gram of cocaine is generally more expensive and is sold on the black market for $90 to $100.  Often, cocaine is offered at a cheaper rate. However, the submitted stated that this generally means that it is not pure cocaine but rather mephedrone laced with lidocaine. The figures released by the United Nations in its World Drug Report last stated that cocaine is sold for $53 per gram.

The cost to buy marijuana was also submitted to Havocscope. The average price for a gram of weed is generally $10 in Poland, with prices going up to $20. Another submission stated that it costs $6.6 to $9.9 per gram for marijuana on the black market. The United Nations stated that marijuana costs an average of $6.6 per gram.

Source: Reader submission to Havocscope, received on December 27, 2013.

Security services across Costa Rica saw an increase in the number of illegal drugs seized across the country.

43 tons of cocaine was seized by law enforcement in 2013, an increase from the 15.6 tons of cocaine seized in 2012.

Ecstasy also saw an increase, with a total of 11,300 doses of ecstasy seized from the black market. 293 ecstasy tablets were seized the year before.

(Price of ecstasy tablets for sale on the black market.)

Researchers have also found that the use of marijuana has increased in Costa Rica. Between 2006 and 2012, the use of marijuana by residents in Costa Rica increased by 260 percent and is the most used illicit drug in the country. A popular form of marijuana in Costa Rica is the High Red Jamaican marijuana.

Source:  Ezra Fieser, “United Nations: Costa Rica is fighting organ and narco-trafficking,” Infosurhoy, December 24, 2013.

In 2012, there were 3 babies being born each day in England that were addicted to cocaine, heroin and other types of drugs.

1,129 babies were born with “neonatal withdrawal symptoms”, according to the National Health Service. The number of babies born addicted to drugs was 11 percent higher than the number born in 2008.

The babies are addicted to the drugs due to the mother abusing the drugs while pregnant. Within the first few hours of being born, the babies face withdrawal symptoms from the drugs, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The babies must be placed immediately in drug treatment programs.

Source:  Andrew Gregory, “Rise in babies born addicted to heroin and crack cocaine as numbers hit three a day,” Mirror, December 24, 2013.

(More United Kingdom security threats.)

Between 2009 and 2012, security services in India arrested 820 foreign nationals for drug trafficking crimes. Nearly 80 percent of those arrested came from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal and Nigeria.

In the four year time period, data from criminal justice programs shows that 224 Nepalis were arrested for drug trafficking in India, followed by 191 Nigerians, 173 people from Myanmar and 32 people from Afghanistan.

The top drugs trafficked by the foreign nationals included marijuana and hashish, followed by heroin and cocaine.

Source:  Chethan Kumar, “Papa Joes thrive despite tough measures against drug cartels,” Times of India, December 20, 2013.

In the first half of 2013, security services in China seized about 4.1 tonnes of heroin across the country. The amount seized was 12.5 percent higher than the amount seized in the first half of 2012. 6 tonnes of ketamine, an anesthetic drug primarily used by Veterinarians, were also seized during the time period, an increase of 311 percent from the year before.

In terms of traffickers, roughly 81,000 people were arrested by police across China in the first half of 2013 for drug related offenses. The number of people arrested was 34 percent higher than the year before.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the demand for heroin and opiates in China has increased to exceed the supply in Laos and Myanmar, causing traffickers to have to transport opium for Afghanistan to meet the demand.

(Price of heroin worldwide.)

Source:  Patrick Boehler, “Southeast Asia can’t meet China’s opium demand, says UN body,” South China Morning Post, December 18, 2013.


The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that 870 metric tons of opium was produced in Myanmar in 2013. The amount produced is 26 percent higher than the 2012 production levels.

Myanmar is the world’s second largest producer of opium after Afghanistan, which produced 5,500 metric tons of opium in 2013.

Heroin trafficking and opium has been increasing in East and Southeast Asia, according to the UNODC. In 2010, criminal justice agencies seized 6.5 metric tons of heroin in the region. In 2012, over 9 metric tons were seized. Opium seizures also increased, with 2 metric tons seized in 2010, compared to 2.7 metric tons in 2012.

(Cost to buy heroin per gram worldwide.)

Source:  Associated Press, “UN: Poverty Pushing Myanmar Opium Output Higher,” ABC News, December 18, 2013.

841 people in Clark County (which includes the city of Las Vegas) died in 2012 from accidentally overdosing on drugs. Most of the deaths involved prescription drugs.

As previously mentioned, there is a direct link between the rise in prescription drug abuse and a rise in heroin abuse across the United States, and the link is demonstrated again in Nevada. In 2006, there were 266 people who entered drug rehab centers for treatment regarding addictions to prescription drugs. In 2012, the number of patients increased to 616.

(All statistics on heroin addiction.)

Heroin treatment programs also saw an increase in admissions. In 2006, a total of 607 people sought treatment for heroin addiction in Nevada. In 2012, the number increased to 931.

Heroin use increases due to its cheaper price on the black market when compared to prescription drugs. One pill of Vicodin can cost $5, with an addict needing up to 10 pills a day. A bag of heroin can cost $10, with two to three hits lasting the entire day, thus saving the user $20 to $30 when switching to heroin.

(How much does heroin cost around the world?)

Source:  Jackie Valley, “Lawmen focus on biggest drug problem: overdoses of prescribed meds,” Las Vegas Sun, December 17, 2013.

In 2012, security services in Sri Lanka seized a total of 33 pounds of drugs that were being trafficked.

In 2013, the amount of hard drugs seized increased to 660 pounds.

Criminal justice officials believe that most of the drugs originate from India, and the traffickers use Sri Lanka as a transit hub for shipments to Australia.

Source:  AFP, “Sri Lanka emerging as a heroin transit hub,” Emirates 24/7, December 17, 2013.

36 percent of high school seniors in the United States stated that they smoked marijuana in 2013. Over 12 percent of eight graders also smoked marijuana during the year.

Nearly 60 percent of seniors stated that they did not view marijuana use as harmful, compared to 55 percent in 2012.

According to an annual survey by Monitoring the Future, other forms of drugs, alcohol and tobacco l use by high school students declined in 2013. 40 percent of seniors stated that they drank alcohol during the year, down from 53 percent in 1997. Les than 10 percent of seniors smoked cigarettes, the first time the number has ever dropped below 10 percent. Prescription drug abuse of the painkiller Vicodin is down by half from the number of student who were abusing it, and cocaine and heroin use by all students was at all time lows in 2013.

(How much does marijuana cost?)

Source:  Anahd O’Connor, “Increasing Marijuana Use in High School Is Reported,” New York Times, Well Blog, December 18, 2013.

According to statistics from criminal justice programs in Pakistan, up to one million people in the country are addicted to heroin.

Half of the heroin addicts use needles and inject the drug while using. Of the 500,000 who are heroin injectors, nearly 30 percent, or 150,000 people, are infected with HIV.

All of the heroin that is consumed in Pakistan is trafficked from neighboring Afghanistan. In 2013, the United Nations estimated that up to 5,500 tonnes of opium was cultivated in Afghanistan.

(How much heroin cost on the streets per gram)

Source:  Pakistan has estimated one million heroin users,” The News International, December 15, 2013.