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 data submitted by a reader, the price of a bag of heroin on the black market in British Columbia, Canada is between $14 to $23 (15 to 25 Canadian Dollars).

A “bag” of heroin is contains roughly 0.1 grams of heroin.

Further inland, the cost of heroin increases. In Ontario, a bag of heroin sells for $33 to $42 (35 to 45 Canadian).

(How much does heroin cost per gram?)

To submit data on the black market to Havocscope, submit information here.

Source:  User submitted data to Havocscope, received on December 9, 2013.

Between January and the beginning of December 2013, security services in San Diego seized around 120,000 marijuana plants that were illegally grown in the county. The plants were seized from 113 different grow sites. The marijuana raids resulted in 89 arrests, with 58 grow sites located outdoors and 55 indoor growing operations.

Nearly 75 percent of the indoor marijuana growing sites involved hash-oil extraction, which has caused large explosions in several drug labs in Southern California. The process involves mixing marijuana with butane to extract oil from the weed that results in a form of liquid cannabis. The liquid offers users a stronger dose of marijuana and provides a high that is much stronger than a user would receive from smoking.

(Latest crime in the United States data.)

Source:  “DEA: 120,000 marijuana plants seized from 113 grow sites in San Diego area since January 2013,” San Diego 6, December 9, 2013.

Source:  Leticia Juarez, “Hash oil extraction is a growing, dangerous trend – officials,” ABC 7, October 21, 2013.

Border security agents in the United States have seen an increase in the number of teenagers transporting methamphetamine from Mexico into the US.

Back in 2009, security services arrested 176 minors under the age of 18 for entering California border crossing with marijuana. There were 5 arrests for methamphetamine.

In 2010, the arrests for marijuana smuggling decreased to 61 minors, with an increase to 27 minors for meth.

By 2011, meth overtook marijuana arrests with 40 arrests compared to 34 marijuana arrests. The trend continued in 2012 with 59 meth arrests and 14 arrests.

The 2013 fiscal year saw the largest gap between the two, with 75 meth arrests compared to 17 marijuana arrests.

Out of all drug-related arrests at US entry points, minors account for 5 percent of those arrests.

Intelligence collected by federal officials show that the Mexican drug cartels pay children $50 to $100 or each load that they carry across the border. The children, some as young as 12 years old, generally do not have  a criminal record and do not abuse drugs.

(More payments from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Sandra Dibble, “More Teens SMuggling Meth,” San Diego Union-Tribue, December 2, 2013.

Surveillance by public health programs and criminal justice agencies indicate that 11 percent of all amphetamine and crystal meth users in China inject the drug.

In Cambodia, the rate of injection rate is 12 percent, and in Thailand the rate is 9 percent.

In Australia,where  3.4 percent of the population abuses amphetamine type stimulants, around 18 percent of the drug users inject the drugs.

Public health officials are concerned that the rising use of drug injections will lead to a rise in HIV infections.

(More methamphetamine facts.)

The Southeast Asia region has seen a rise in the trafficking and production of methamphetamine. The Australian National Council on Drugs reports that government security agencies believe that there are up to 12 large-scale meth manufacturing operations in the Golden Triangle area of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

Back in 1999, security forces identified 300 clandestine laboratories in Southeast Asia that was producing meth. 10 years later, the number of labs increased to nearly 700.

(How much does a gram of meth cost?)

Source:  Sue Dunlevy, “Crystal meth drug Laboratories in South East Asia double,”, December 5, 2013.

In 2011, there were 10,176 emergency room visits by Americans under the age of 21 related to taking ecstasy.

The number of ER admissions  for ecstasy was 128 percent higher than the 4,460 visits recorded in 2005, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Survey.

Counting all illegal drugs, there were 1.2 million ER visits linked to illegal drugs in 2011.

Source:  Michelle Castillo, “Ecstasy-related emergency department visits up 128 percent for people under 21,” CBS News, December 3, 2013.


Two-thirds of college students in the United States have been offered the prescription drug Adderall by the time they are seniors, according to the Journal of American College Health. 31 percent have taken the drug.

74 percent of college students who use Adderall without a prescription are able to get the drugs from a friend. However, as the student goes through the college years, the student becomes more likely to get a prescription. The rate of using the drug with a prescription rises from 3.1 percent in their freshman year to 8.1 percent their senior year.

(More prescription drug abuse statistics and information.)

Students are increasingly able to find ways to get Adderall prescribed to them. In one experiment, 93 percent of students were able to fill out a self-reported checklist and received a positive diagnosis for ADHD, of which Adderall is prescribed for. Other studies showed that students could easily find out how to get diagnosed with ADHD by searching online for 5 minutes.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 90 percent of college students who use Adderall for non-medical reasons also binge drink.

The rate of Adderall abuse has started to go to the high school level as well. In 2009, there were 5.4 percent of high school seniors across the United States who reported using Adderall without a prescription. In 2012, the rate of Adderall abuse increased to 7.6 percent.

Source:  Brandy Zadrozny, “7 Things You Need to Know About Adderall,” Daily Beast, December 2, 2013.

Synthetic drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine seizures increased by over 250 percent in India between 2009 and 2012.

Security agents in India seized 12 kilograms of cocaine and 1,244 kilograms of ephedrine (used to make meth) in 2009. By 2012, the kilos of cocaine seized in India increased to 44, and ephedrine seizures rose to 4,393 kilos.

Seizures of the sedative Mandrax (Methaqualone) also increased during the 4 year time frame, from 5 kg in 2009 to 216 kg in 2012.

(Convert prices of grams of cocaine to kilograms.)

Seizures of marijuana dropped drastically during this time frame. 208,764 kg of ganja was seized in 2009, compared with 77,149 kg in 2012, a drop of 64 percent.

Mumbai has the largest market for cocaine in India, with the drug accounting for 82 percent of drug seized in 2012.

Source:  Deeptiman Tiwary, “Use of synthetic drugs on the rise in India,” Times of India, November 25, 2013.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), most Molly that is used or sold does not contain ecstasy, as is commonly believed.

In New York State, out of all Molly capsules and powder seized in the state over 4 years, only 13 percent contained MDMA.

(Price of illegal ecstasy pills worldwide.)

Source:  Drew Griffin, Nelli Black, and Patricia DiCarlo, “9 things everyone should know about the drug Molly,” CNN, November 23, 2013.

In November 2013, United States House of Representatives member Trey Radel  plead guilty to buying cocaine from an undercover officer. According to court documents, the Congressman paid $260 for 3.5 grams of cocaine, which is commonly known as an eight ball, or 1/8th of an ounce.

The actual drug buy took place on October 28, 2013 in Washington DC.

According to figures reported to the United Nations, a gram of cocaine sells for between $8 to $300 in the United States.

(See world cocaine prices here.)

Source:  Athena Jones and Evan Perez, “Rep. Trey Radel to take leave of absence, enter drug treatment,” CNN, November 20, 2013.

Intelligence collected by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration shows that methamphetamine use is higher in the Western portion of the country.

Based on data collected at arrests, 42.9 percent of males arrested in Sacramento, California tested positive for meth. In Portland, Oregon, 22.9 percent of men arrested had meth in their system. In Denver, Colorado, the percent dropped to 5.9 percent.

On the East coast, 0.4 percent of people arrested in Washington DC had meth in their system, and 0.1 percent in New York City.

(More facts about meth addiction and abuse.)

80 percent of the meth used in the United States is produced and trafficked from Mexico. Between late 2007 and early 2012, the price of methamphetamine dropped by over 70 percent in the US, while the purity of the meth increased by nearly 130 percent.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source (PDF):  “National Drug Threat Assessment Summary 2013,” United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, November 2013, page 10.