Cocaine — Global overview (EU Drug Markets Report)

Global overview

In the three countries in which coca cultivation is almost exclusively concentrated, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, the leaves play a significant cultural role. In Bolivia and Peru, some growing of coca is permitted to supply licit domestic consumer markets for coca leaves and to supply de- cocainised flavouring agents to international manufacturers of soft drinks, which complicates efforts to control cocaine production.

The extraction of cocaine alkaloids from the coca leaves also takes place almost exclusively in the three producer countries, which also account for the majority of the global production of cocaine hydrochloride. However, some cocaine processing laboratories have been detected in other South American countries and elsewhere, including Europe, and globally over 9 000 cocaine-type laboratories were dismantled in 2013 (UNODC, 2015a).

The majority of cocaine users are found in North and South America and western and central Europe. Although prevalence rates have been declining in North America (especially in the United States) and in western and central Europe, the number of people using cocaine in South America and in Australia has been increasing; in Asia prevalence rates are generally low (UNODC, 2015a).

Global seizures of cocaine reported by UNODC totalled 687 tonnes in 2013, a figure very similar to that for 2012 (UNODC, 2015a). 

Note: The estimates presented are up to 2013; more recent EU figures are available but have not been used for the purposes of comparability. For the most up-to-date European data, please refer to Table 5.1.

Source: UNODC, World Drug Reports. EMCDDA, 2015a.