Premium statistics

Industry-specific and extensively researched technical data (partially from exclusive partnerships).

A paid subscription is required for full access.

Illegal drug users - Global prevalence 1990-2016

Prevalence of illegal drug use among the global population from 1990 to 2016*

by John Elflein, last edited Sep 19, 2019
Illegal drug users - Global prevalence 1990-2016 It is estimated that around 5.6 percent of the global population uses illicit drugs. Use of illicit drugs varies by country and region as countries enact their own laws regarding such substances. Access to illicit drugs also differs by country and region and culture plays a role in how acceptable drug use is.

Global drug use

Worldwide, cannabis is by far the most used type of illicit drug, followed by opioids and amphetamines. It is estimated that around 275 million people worldwide consume illegal drugs and 30.5 million could be considered addicts or problem drug users. Drug addiction and abuse can negatively impact relationships, increases the risk of a number of diseases, and can ultimately lead to death.

Opioid epidemic in the U.S.

The United States has a long and complicated history with illegal drugs, once going so far as to fight a “War on Drugs”. Today, the U.S. is experiencing what has been called an opioid epidemic. This has been characterized by an increase in overdose deaths from prescription opioids, heroin and, more recently, illegally manufactured synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. In 2017, there were a record 47,600 opioid deaths in the United States.
Show more

Prevalence of illegal drug use among the global population from 1990 to 2016*

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account!

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$49 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Leading companies trust Statista:
Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format
Global drug use
Global drug use

All Information
in one Presentation

Global drug use

Everything On "Global drug use" in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

Other Reports & Dossiers
I think of Statista as Google for researchers. Statista provides you with the information you search for right away.
Dr. Horst Stipp

Dr. Horst Stipp
EVP, Research & Innovation, Advertising Research Foundation

Statistics on "Global drug use"
  • Users
The most important statistics
  • Cannabis
  • Opioids
  • Other drugs
  • New psychoactive substances
  • Deaths
  • Treatment
  • Drug injection and HIV
  • Miscellaneous
Discover Statista
Need help with using Statista for your research? Tutorials and first steps
Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
Do you have any questions about our business solutions?

We provide you with detailed information about our Corporate Account.