Cocaine

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.

The Chief Medical Officer of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFIA) stated that the governing body conducts over 30,000 drug tests during a typical year.

Out of those tests, between 70 to 90 tests comes back positive for banned substances. Most of the positive tests are for marijuana or cocaine.

Source:  Stefan Coerts, “FIFA blames cocaine and marijuana for failed doping tests,” Yahoo Sports, August 3, 2013.

In 2011, a reported 1.4 million people in the United States used cocaine, down from the 2.6 million people who used the illegal drug in 2006.

The number of people addicted to cocaine also dropped in 2011, with 800,000 people claiming that they were addicted, compared to 1.7 million cocaine addicts in 2006. The number of first time uses of cocaine also dropped with 670,000 first time users in 2011, compared to 1 million back in 2002.

The number of people who overdosed from cocaine in the United States in 2010 was 4,183. In 2006, there were 7,448 deaths related to cocaine overdose.

(More statistics about cocaine abuse and trafficking.)

Source: Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, “Cocaine use: Will the factors behind its steady decline continue?,” Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 2013.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that the amount of cocaine produced in the Andes region in 2012 was down 10 percent from the previous year.

Bolivia produced 155 metric tons of pure cocaine in 2012, down 18 percent from 2011.

Colombia produced 175 metric tons, down 7.9 percent from the previous year.

Peru produced 290 metric tons, down 4.9 percent from the year before.

In the span of 10 years, the amount of cocaine produced in the region declined by 41 percent.

The three countries are the largest producers of cocaine in the world, with the United States being the largest consumers of cocaine worldwide.

Source:  Eric Martin, “Cocaine Output in Andes Region Falls 10% Amid Eradication Effort,” Bloomberg, July 9, 2013.

Based on the most recent available data published in the 2013 World Drug Report, the United Nations estimates that up to 155,600 hectares of land was devoted to cocaine cultivation around the world in 2011. The number was roughly in line with the global estimates from 2010, but 14 percent lower from the 2007 estimates, and 30 percent lower from the 2000 world estimates.

Out of the total areas available for cultivation, between 776 tons to 1,051 tons of pure cocaine was manufactured.

In terms of cocaine seizures, Colombia seized 200 tons of cocaine during 2011, followed by the United States which seized 94 tons of cocaine.

(Price of cocaine around the world.)

Source:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “World Drug Report 2013,” Executive Summary, June 2013, page x.

Security officials in Colombia report that illegal mining of gold has become a more profitable activity for FARC, ELN and other organized crime gangs in the country.

According to a police official, a kilogram of cocaine sold in the Colombia jungle is sold for $2,570 (5 Million Colombian Pesos).  Based on the current world market price for gold, a kilogram of gold could be sold for up to 19 times the price of cocaine.

In addition to the higher prices for gold, the armed rebels are able to sell more gold in a shorter period of time. To harvest cocaine in the jungles, a farmer would need expertise in harvesting cocaine and the process generally takes up to 6 months. In comparison, an illegal gold mining operation can extract up to 2 kilograms of gold each week.

In 2012, police shut down 330 illegal gold mines across the country. In the first half of 2013, police shut down 336 illegal mines.

Source:  Andrew Willis, “Gold Beats Cocaine as Colombia Rebel Money Maker: Police,” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 21, 2013.

Criminal justice programs in Colombia reported that 786 criminal gangs were broken up within the country in 2012. In addition to the actions against the organized crime groups, police and security services captured 242 drug traffickers and extradited 192 traffickers to foreign nations.

40 drug trafficking networks were also dismantled by police.

Police also reported on actions targeting microtrafficking, or street level drug dealing. Through their operations, government security agents seized 99,184 kilograms of cocaine, 132,182 tablets of synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, and 292,220 kilograms of marijuana.

2,038 people who involved in kidnapping and ransom incidents were also arrested in 2012.

Source:  James Bargent, “Colombia Police Dismantle 100s of Gangs in 2012,” Insight Crime, June 21, 2013.

The United States sent $50 Million in counter-narcotics assistance to the West African region in 2012. The amount of assistance increased from the $7.5 Million sent to the region in 2009.

The level of counterfeit-narcotics spending is increasing by the United States due to the rise in cocaine trafficking. Drug cartels in South America are using the region as a transportation hub for the cocaine that is being trafficked to Europe.

In 2012, the cocaine that was being transported through West Africa was valued at $1.25 Billion.

Source:  Kyle Benjamin Schneps, “The United States and Drug Trafficking in Guinea-Bissau,” Council on Foreign Relations, Africa in Transition, June 20, 2013.

According to data from the United States Customs and Border Protection, 17 million pounds of marijuana was seized on the US-Mexico border between 2005 and 2011. During that same time period, 233,000 pounds of cocaine was seized by US criminal justice agencies.

(More statistics about crime in the US.)

Source:  Marie McIntosh, “Cocaine, ‘caviar of street drugs,’ remains in high demand,” Center for Investigative Reporting, June 20, 2013.

In the coastal city of Puerto Limón in Costa Rica, residents are becoming addicted to cocaine due to its location along the trafficking routes from South American to the United States. Security officials in the country state that many drug traffickers are paying local suppliers in cocaine, which is then consumed locally.

(See all wildlife trafficking statistics.)

With the rise in domestic users, many cocaine addicts are turning to turtle egg poaching in order to feed their habit. Poachers are  dig up several turtle nests at night which yields up to 90 turtle eggs. The poachers then sell these eggs directly to the cocaine dealer as payment for their drugs. The dealer turns around and sells a single turtle egg on the black market for $1. The eggs are popular with the local residents when combined with hot sauce and are sold in restaurants and street stalls.

(More prices of exotic wildlife on the black market.)

Source:  Scott Wallace, ” Costa Rican Murder Shines Light on Poaching, Drug Nexus,” National Geographic, June 17, 2013.

A report by NPR in June 2013 stated that up to 20 people were being killed in Honduras each day and that the country has the highest murder rate in the world.

In the city of San Pedro Sula, over 1,200 people were killed in 2012.

Two major causes for the high rate of murders are organized crime gangs and drug trafficking cartels, according to the report.

In San Pedero Sula, the gangs of Mara Salvatrucha and the 18th Street have been battling over territory. In total, there are about 65,000 gang members in Honduras.

Along with gang warfare, drug trafficking violence has contributed to the murder rate. Due to its geographic location between South American and the United States, up to 42 percent of all cocaine being transported to the US passes through Honduras. The US State Department also states that up to 90 percent of all worldwide cocaine flights pass through the country as well.

Source:  Carrie Kahn, “Honduras Claims Unwanted Title Of World’s Murder Capital,” NPR, June 12, 2013.