Drug Seizures Data by Region
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, a total of 8,606 tons of illegal drugs were seized in 2016. When thinking about this staggering number, we wondered how it broke down between countries globally, which drugs were seized, and what drugs had the most seizures.
We looked at the most recent data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to find answers to some of our burning questions including:
- What is the prevalence of drug seizures globally?
- Which countries have the most drug seizures of an individual drug?
- Which regions have the most drug seizures? and
- What is the overall value for these drugs seizures?
Through this research, we found interesting, and surprising, results which you can view in our interactive map and graphics below.
After looking at drug seizures on a global level, we were also interested to see which regions had the most drug seizures for amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, morphine, and marijuana as well as how the top 20 countries, ranked by GDP, fared for seizures.
When it comes to amphetamines, North America seized the most with 202,020 lbs alone in 2016. This comes in at an average global street value of over $9.9 billion dollars and a global average price of $108.66 per gram.
East and Southeast Asia seized the second largest amount of the drug, seizing 134,783 lbs with an average global street value of $6.6 billion.
Central Asia and Transcaucasia (Transcaucasia roughly corresponds to modern Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) on the other hand, has the lowest seizures of amphetamines with just 2 lbs seized with an average global street value of just over $108,000.
Looking at cocaine, South America has the highest amount of seizures with 1,496,701 lbs. With a global average street price of $80 per gram, that comes out to an astounding street value of over $54.2 billion dollars.
North America has the second highest seizures of cocaine with 476,567 lbs seized that amounted to a global average street price of $17.2 billion.
Eastern Africa has the lowest amount of seizures with only 251 lbs and an average global street value of $9.1 million.
Interestingly, Australia and New Zealand are the number one region for seizures of ecstasy with a total of 10,758 lbs seized. With a global average street price of $19.12 per gram, that’s a street value of over $93.1 million dollars.
South America is the region with the second highest seizures of ecstasy with 7,127 lbs seized and an average global street value of $61.7 billion.
On the other hand, the Caribbean, as well as Southern Asia, have the lowest amount of seizures with only 2 lbs seized each with a global average street value of just $19,000.
When it comes to heroin, the Near and Middle East/Southwest Asia have the highest amount of heroin seizures with 262,424 lbs. With a global average street price of $91.16 per gram, that’s a street value of over $10.8 billion dollars.
East and Southeast Asia come in second for heroin and morphine seizures with 25,726 lbs of the drug seized and a global average street value of just over $1 billion.
Eastern Africa has the lowest amount of seizures with only 62 lbs of heroin and morphine seized with an average global street value of $2.5 million.
North America takes first place for seizures of marijuana seizing 4,048,552 lbs. With a global average street price of $9.18 per gram, that amounts to a street value of over $16.8 billion dollars.
South America is the region with the second highest seizures of marijuana with 2,360,832 lbs seized giving an average global street value of $9.8 billion.
The region with the lowest amount of marijuana seizures? That would be Eastern Africa with only 19,446 lbs of marijuana seized that amounts to an average global street value of $80 million.
Looking at drug seizures in the top 20 countries by GDP, it’s fascinating to see that America has the most seizures for amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana.
Australia leads on seizures of ecstasy and China for seizures of heroin and morphine.
Interestingly, although ranked the 3rd country for GDP, Japan has hardly any drug seizures due to its low percentage amounts across the board.
Clearly, illegal drug production and use is a major problem throughout the world and the effects of these drugs negatively impact millions of lives every single day. Just like many other chronic diseases, drug addiction can be managed and treated successfully, allowing people to counteract the disruptive and negative effects drugs have on their brain and behavior so that they can regain control of their lives.
If you know anyone in your life who is suffering from drug addiction, find out more about how you can help.
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