The annual United Nations World Drug report on world drug consumption by region provides some interesting intriguing data on global heroin consumption, but a little math sheds some much needed light on the numbers.
Heroin use is declining in the United States, but rising in Europe, according to the latest report, which noted that European users smoke or inject about 25 percent of the 340 metric tons of heroin consumed worldwide each year.
U.N. officials said that cultivation of opium, the compound used to make heroin, has decreased 13 percent in the last year, to 657 tons.
Especially high demand for heroin, and also for cocaine, in Western European countries such as the UK, Italy and France, has led to the emergence of new trafficking routes in West Africa, the report states.
The Regional Breakdown for Heroin Consumption:
- Europe – 26% at 88 metric tons
- Russia – 21% at 70 metric tons
- China – 13% at 45 metric tons
- Africa – 7% at 24 metric tons
- U.S.A. & Canada – 6% at 21 metric tons
- Pakistan – 6% at 21 metric tons
- India – 5% at 17 metric tons
- Southeast Asia – 5% at 17 metric tons
- Iran – 5% at 17 metric tons
Looks like Europe is the biggest overall consumer of heroin, but which region or country has the biggest heroin problem per capita?
Russia’s 141,927,297 people consume 70 metric tons or 70,000 kilos, for a total of .000493 kilos per person. Russia’s per capita heroin consumption is nearly double that of Iran, the runner-up. Iran’s 72,000,000 people consume 17 metric tons or 17,000 kilos, for a total of .000236 kilos per person.
Europe comes in third for global heroin use per capita. Europe’s 710 million people consume 88 metric tons or 88,000 kilos, for a total of .000123 kilos per person.
Pakistan ties Europe for third place in overall per capita heroin use. Pakistan’s 169,869,000 people consume 21 metric tons or 21,000 kilos, for a total of .000123 kilos per person.
Per capita heroin use falls off sharply among the U.S., Canada, and other countries that make up the top ten global heroin consumers. U.S.A. & Canada’s 341 million people consume 21 metric tons or 21,000 kilos, for a total of .000061 kilos per person. China’s 1,324,655,000 people consume 45 metric tons or 45,000 kilos, for a total of 0.0000339 kilos per person.
Africa’s 840 million people consume 24 metric tons or 24,000 kilos, for a total of .0000285 kilos per person. Southeast Asia 593,000,000 people consume 17 metric tons or 17,000 kilos, for a total of .0000286 kilos per person. India 1,182,500,000 people consume 17 metric tons or 17,000 kilos, for a total of .0000143 kilos per person.
See the U.N.’s breakdown of the world’s heroin and other drug consumption by geographical region, here.
For more info: UN