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Number of worldwide users of cocaine by region 2010-2018

According to the latest estimates there were around 23 million cocaine users worldwide with the highest number found in the Americas. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant and is an addictive stimulant that is usually snorted as a powder. Although it is illegal in most countries it is still commonly used recreationally.

Cocaine worldwide

As of 2017, it was estimated that around a quarter of the population worldwide had used cocaine at some point in their lifetime. However, more people reported using alcohol, cannabis, and MDMA. With so many users it is unsurprising that the illegal cocaine market is extremely lucrative. Worldwide illicit cultivation of cocaine covers some 245 thousand hectares, with most of the world’s cocaine produced in South America.

Cocaine in the United States

According to the most recent figures around 5.5 million people in the United States had used cocaine in the previous year. Moreover, around 40.2 million Americans have used cocaine at some point in their lifetime. In 2018, there were around 14,666 deaths involving cocaine in the United States, a significant rise from previous years. However, it is important to note that a large portion of deaths from cocaine involve the use of other drugs, specifically opioids.

Number of cocaine users worldwide from 2010 to 2018, by region*

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

2010 to 2018

Age group

15-64 years

Supplementary notes

* The figures given here are maximum estimates. Figures for 2010-2016 were taken from the report's previous editions.

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