News, information and statistics about cocaine abuse and the trafficking of cocaine. Data about cocaine is collected from criminal justice public health programs, drug treatment centers, security agencies and other public information sources.

Statistics from the Australian Institute for Health, Welfare, Alcohol and other drug treatment services show that there has been an increase in the number of Australians over the age of 50 entering drug addition treatment programs.

Between the time span of 2004 to 2012, the rate of Australians over 50 receiving drug treatment for cocaine addiction increased by 247 percent.

Heroin rehab admissions increased by 138 percent.

The number of Australians between the age of 50 to 59 who received treatment for marijuana increased by 163 percent, and 231 percent for those over 60.

The biggest surge in drug treatment programs were for amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse. Australians between the age of 50 to 59 increased their treatment for amphetamine by 407 percent, and a 321 percent increase for those over 60.

(More marijuana prices.)

Source:  Jackie Sinnerton and Lisa Cornish, “Drug use spikes as baby boomers return to bad habits of their youth in 1960s, with amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin,”, OCtober 20, 2013.

There are over 1,500 islands around the coast of Panama in Central America. Drug traffickers utilize these islands in order to transport cocaine produced in South America. Traffickers bury the drugs on various islands and use it as a type of storage and transport point on its way towards the United States.

According to media reports, drug mules who bury the drugs and pass it along make up to $5,000 for each trip that the make to the islands to transport the drugs. The amount they make per trip is 10 times more than the amount that they would make working at a village shop in Panama.

(More under the table jobs.)

Source:  Irene Larraz, “Narco-Islands: Panama’s Drug Trafficking Paradise,” InSight Crime, September 30, 2013.

In the first half of 2013, 14 percent of cocaine being smuggled to the United States was trafficked through the Caribbean region, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The cocaine being trafficked in the region was double the 7 percent in the first half of 2012.

DEA intelligence analysts report that 27 metric tons of cocaine was brought to the Dominican Republic, an increase from the 22 tons of cocaine it received in 2012.

The US territory of Puerto Rico is also seeing an increase in drug trafficking activity. In an example of the scope of the drug trade, police recently arrested a ring of 27 traffickers who were moving drugs from the Dominican Republic into the United States. The gang reportedly made over $100 Million in revenue.

The homicide rate in Puerto Rico was 30.5 per 100,000 in 2011, over six times the homicide rate of the mainland US. Nearly half of the murders committed in 2011 was drug related.

Security experts state that Puerto Rico is a key location in smuggling drugs into the United States.  Drugs are able to be smuggled into the mainland with less Customs inspections due to its status as a US territory.

Source:  Ezra Fieser, “DEA: Drug trafficking doubles in Caribbean,” Miami Herald, October 3, 2013.


According to data from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, between 1990 to 2007 the price of illegal drugs sold in the United States went down while the purity and potency of the drug went up.

In a study released by the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy in Canada, researchers found that law enforcement action had no impact on the illegal drug market. Despite an estimated $1 Trillion spent combating illegal drugs, the study found that illegal drugs has become cheaper while the drugs have also become stronger.

Between 1990 and 2007, the price of heroin in the United States decreased by 81 percent. During the time period, the purity of heroin increased by 60 percent.

The price of cocaine dropped by 80 percent during the time period, while its purity increased by 11 percent.

And the price of marijuana decreased by 60 percent while the cannabis potency increased by 161 percent.

All prices were adjusted for inflation.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  Dan Werb, Thomas Kerr, Bohdan Nosyk, Steffanie Strathdee, Julio Montaner, Evan Wood, “The temporal relationship between drug supply indicators: an audit of international government surveillance systems,” International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, September 30, 2013.

Security personnel in Qatar arrested 50 drug smugglers entering the country in 2012. Customs officials in the country cliam that they are able to catch 90 pecent of the drug smugglers attempting to enter the country.

A kilogram of cocaine can be sold for up to $90,000 in the Middle East, a value that is 3 times higher than the rate in the United States.

(More cocaine prices by country.)

75 percent of the cocaine seized in the Middle East region was shipped from Brazil.

Source:  Charles Parkinson, “Persian Gulf is Growing Drug Hub For LatAm Groups,” Insight Crime, September 17, 2013.

According to a 2013 report, an estimated 6 percent of cocaine processed in South America and bound for the United States passes through the Dominican Republic. This figure was slightly lower than the 9 percent reported in 2010.

Security officials in the Dominican Republic attribute the decrease due to the changing nature of the cocaine market. More cocaine abusers are now living in Europe, thus leading to more cocaine passing through the Dominican Republic to head towards Europe.  Up to 11 percent of all cocaine that is trafficked to Europe passes through the Dominican Republic.

(Price of Cocaine Worldwide.)

Source: “Dominican Republic: Cocaine laboratory dismantled,” Infosurhoy, September 4, 2013.

According to security officials in Peru, drug traffickers offer people between $6,670 to $9,300 (€5,000 to €7,000) to smuggle illegal drugs into Spain.

A kilogram of cocaine sells for $45,000 in Europe.

In 2012, at least 248 foreigners were arrested at Peru’s Lima airport attempting to smuggle drugs to the United States, Europe and Asia. 62 of the arrested drug smuggles were from Spain.

(Price of cocaine by country.)

Source:  AFP, “Peruvian drug traffickers prey on young Europeans,” Google News, August 22, 2013.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2013 drug report, the United States consumes 36.8 percent of the global cocaine demand each year. The US is the largest market for cocaine in the world, followed by Brazil, which consumes 17.7 percent of the world cocaine supply.

(Additional cocaine facts and statistics.)

Source:  Elias Groll, “The New Cocaine War: Peru Overtakes Colombia as World’s Top Coca Grower,” Foreign Policy, Passport, August 9, 2013.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN, reported on the rate of addiction of people who use illicit drugs.

According to his article, various studies have found that up to 10 percent of marijuana users become addicted and dependent on the drug. 20 percent of cocaine users become dependent after using, and up to 25 percent of heroin users become addicted.

Nearly 30 percent of cigarette smokers become addicted to cigarettes.

(Price of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Sanjay Gupta, “Why I changed my mind on weed,” CNN, August 9, 2013.

A study conducted by the World Bank found that the economic costs to the Central America region due to organized crime violence is $6.5 Billion per year. The costs associated with the violence decreases the region’s GDP by 7.7 percent.

The impact of organized crime and drug trafficking violence on the countries GDP is as follows:

El Salvador: 10.8 percent of GDP worth $2 Billion.

Nicaragua: 10 percent of GDP worth $529 Million.

Honduras: 9.6 percent of GDP worth $885 Million.

Guatemala: 7.7 percent of GDP worth $2.2 Billion.

Costa Rica: 3.6 percent of GDP worth $791 Million.

There are 41 homicides for every 100,000 residents in Central America. 24 percent of the world’s marijuana smokers and 45 percent of the world’s cocaine users resides in Central America.

(What is racketeering?Find examples here.)

Source:  Sergio Ramos, “Central America: Organized crime costs Central America billions,” Infosurhoy, August 5, 2013.