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Illicit drugs

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This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana (pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).
Coca (mostly Erythroxylum coca) is a bush with leaves that contain the stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter.
Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush.
Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone (Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid).
Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral change in an individual.
Drug abuse is the excessive use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an individual.
Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid, microdot), mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine variants (PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog), phencyclidine analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin, psilocyn).
Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.
Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in Southwest Asia and Africa.
Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural narcotics include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine (MS-Contin, Roxanol), codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussin AC), and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics include heroin (horse, smack), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Synthetic narcotics include meperidine or Pethidine (Demerol, Mepergan), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), and others (Darvon, Lomotil).
Opium is the brown, gummy exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of the opium poppy.
Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is the source for the natural and semisynthetic narcotics.
Poppy straw is the entire cut and dried opium poppy-plant material, other than the seeds. Opium is extracted from poppy straw in commercial operations that produce the drug for medical use.
Qat (kat, khat) is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea.
Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and activity, and include cocaine (coke, snow, crack), amphetamines (Desoxyn, Dexedrine), ephedrine, ecstasy (clarity, essence, doctor, Adam), phenmetrazine (Preludin), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and others (Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate).

  • Afghanistan

    the world’s largest producer of illicit opiates, but it is not a major supplier to the United States; 215,000 hectares (ha) of opium poppy cultivated in Afghanistan in 2020; also produces methamphetamine and cannabis products; one of the highest domestic substance abuse rates in the world

    (2022)

  • Akrotiri

    NA

  • Albania

    active transshipment point for Albanian narco-trafficking organizations moving illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin from Turkey and countries in South America and Asia throughout Europe; significant source country for cannabis production

  • Algeria

    NA

  • Angola

    used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa

  • Anguilla

    transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

  • Antigua and Barbuda

    a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean

  • Argentina

    counterfeiting, drug trafficking, and other smuggling offenses along the northern border; some money laundering organizations in the Tri-Border Area may have links to the terrorist organization Hizballah; a large producer of chemical precursors

  • Armenia

    a transit country for illicit drugs with its location between source countries Afghanistan and Iran and the markets of Europe and Russia

  • Aruba

    northbound transshipment point for cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela; Cocaine shipped to the United States, other Caribbean islands, Africa, and Europe

  • Ashmore and Cartier Islands

    NA

  • Australia

    Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; major consumer of cocaine and amphetamines

  • Austria

    transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; increasing consumption of European-produced synthetic drugs

  • Azerbaijan

    limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

  • Bahamas, The

    a significant transit point for illegal drugs bound for the United States; illicit production of marijuana continues

  • Bangladesh

    transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries; does not manufacture precursor chemicals with the exception of sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and toluene

  • Barbados

    a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean

  • Belarus

    limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe; a small and lightly regulated financial center; anti-money-laundering legislation does not meet international standards and was weakened further when know-your-customer requirements were curtailed in 2008; few investigations or prosecutions of money-laundering activities

  • Belgium

    a primary entry point for cocaine smuggled into Europe; also a transit point for precursor chemicals from China for amphetamine and MDMA (ecstasy) production labs in Belgium; a transit country for new psychoactive substances (NPS); increasing number of amphetamine and ecstasy production labs in Belgium; heroin also transits through Belgium.

  • Belize

    a transit country for illegal drugs, mainly cocaine, originating from countries in South America; low domestic drug consumption problem outside of recreational cannabis

  • Benin

    a significant transit and departure country for cocaine shipments in Africa destined for Europe

  • Bolivia

    third-largest source country of cocaine and a major transit for Peruvian cocaine; in 2020 coca cultivation totaled 39,400 hectares (ha); illicit drug consumption is low in Bolivia;  most cocaine is exported to other Latin American countries, such as  Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, for domestic consumption, or for onward transit to West Africa and Europe, not the United States

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    drug trafficking groups are major players in the procurement and transportation of large quantities of cocaine  destined for  European markets

  • Brazil

    a significant transit and destination country for cocaine; most of the cocaine enters Brazil from neighboring producing countries Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru then goes to West Africa and Europe, but an increasing percentage feeds substantial domestic drug consumption; second-largest consumer of cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine-derivative products in the world

  • British Virgin Islands

    transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe; large offshore financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering

  • Brunei

    drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty

  • Bulgaria

    source country for amphetamine tablets

  • Burma

    a major source of illicit methamphetamine and opiates; illicit import of precursor chemicals from China increased production and trafficking of synthetic drugs; second-largest opium poppy cultivator in Asia, with an estimated 20,200 hectares grown in 2019; “Yaba,” a tablet containing methamphetamine, caffeine, and other stimulants, is produced in Burma and trafficked regionally; ethnic armed organizations, military-affiliated militias, and transnational criminal organizations oversee billion dollar drug production and trafficking industry; drugs produced in Burma are trafficked beyond Southeast Asia to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan; not a major source or transit country for drugs entering the United States

     

    (2021)

  • Cabo Verde

    Cabo Verde is a transit hub for cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs trafficked from Latin America to Europe; marijuana, cocaine, hashish, heroin, and methamphetamine are the most frequently consumed drugs in Cabo Verde

  • Cambodia

    manufacture of methamphetamine expanding due to  transnational crime syndicates moving from China to evade the law; drugs destined for Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea and the rest of East and South-East Asia

    (2021)

  • Canada

    illicit production of fentanyl primarily for Canada's domestic drug market with at least small quantities smuggled to the US; complex laboratories setup for fentanyl production have been found and Mexican traffickers present in the country; Canada legalized marijuana in 2018

  • Cayman Islands

    major offshore financial center vulnerable to drug trafficking money laundering

     

  • Chad

    NA

  • Chile

    transshipment country for cocaine destined for Europe and the region; some money laundering activity, especially through the Iquique Free Trade Zone; imported precursors passed on to Bolivia; domestic cocaine consumption is rising, making Chile a significant consumer of cocaine

  • China

    a major source of precursor chemicals, new psychoactive substances (NPS), and synthetic drugs, including fentanyl precursors and methamphetamine;  PRC criminal organizations, transnational crime, and organizations from Mexico and Southeast Asia traffic licit precursor chemical components and illicit finished drugs within the PRC as well as to international markets; significant illicit drug consumption of methamphetamine and ketamine; a major destination and transit country for heroin produced in neighboring countries; the PRC remains a major source of NPS sold in North America and Europe  

     

    (2021)

  • Colombia

    Colombia is the world’s top cocaine producer; exports and is a source of heroin and marijuana; coca cultivation was estimated at 245,000 hectares (ha) in 2020; potential pure cocaine production reached 1,010 metric tons in 2020

     

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    country of origin of methamphetamine destined for overseas markets

  • Costa Rica

    significant transit country for drugs entering the United States; a growing drug consumption problem; drugs warehoused in Costa Rica end up in the local market where criminal organizations use cocaine as payment for services. 

     

  • Cote d'Ivoire

    illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; utility as a narcotic transshipment point to Europe reduced by ongoing political instability; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center

  • Croatia

    drug trafficking groups are major players in the procurement and transportation of large quantities of cocaine destined for European markets

     

  • Cuba

    Cuba is not a major consumer, producer, or transit point of illicit drugs; strict policing on smuggling, production and consumption; prescription drug abuse is increasing

  • Curacao

    northbound transshipment points for cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela; cocaine is transported to the United States, other Caribbean islands, Africa, and Europe

     

  • Cyprus

    vulnerable to money laundering from illegal drugs

     

  • Czechia

    manufacture of methamphetamine continues to be mostly based on pseudoephedrine from  Poland or Turkey.

     

  • Dominica

    a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean

  • Dominican Republic

    a major transshipment point for cocaine transiting through the Caribbean

  • Ecuador

    Ecuador is a major transit country for illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin and chemical precursors to process cocaine from Colombia and Peru; not a major drug producing country

  • Egypt

    major source of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics

  • El Salvador

    a transit country for illicit drugs destined for the United States  

  • Estonia

    producer of synthetic drugs; important transshipment zone for cannabis, cocaine, opiates, and synthetic drugs since joining the European Union and the Schengen Accord; potential money laundering related to organized crime and drug trafficking is a concern, as is possible use of the gambling sector to launder funds; major use of opiates and ecstasy

  • Ethiopia

    transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe, as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries); the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money laundering center

  • France

    metropolitan France: transshipment point for South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and European synthetics;

    French Guiana: small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe;

    Martinique: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for the US and Europe

  • Georgia

    located on a major drug trafficking route where Southwest Asian opium, heroin and precursor chemicals are transported; marijuana trafficking increased

  • Germany

    maritime transshipment point for cocaine heading to Europe

  • Ghana

    a transit and destination point for illicit drugs trafficked from Asia and South America to other African nations and Europe, and to a lesser extent the United States; cultivation of cannabis for domestic use and is trafficked to regional markets or to Europe

  • Greece

    a gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis products and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; some South American cocaine transits or is consumed in Greece; money laundering related to drug trafficking and organized crime

  • Grenada

    a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean

  • Guatemala

    a major transit country for illegal drugs destined for the United States with increasing cultivation originating from Guatemala; farmers  cultivate opium poppy and cannabis

  • Guernsey

    NA

  • Guinea

    NA

  • Guinea-Bissau

    important transit country for South American cocaine en route to Europe; enabling environment for trafficker operations due to pervasive corruption; archipelago-like geography near the capital facilitates drug smuggling

  • Guyana

    transshipment point for cocaine destined for the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa; growing domestic drug consumption problem

  • Haiti

    a transit point for cocaine from South America and marijuana from Jamaica en route to the United States; not a producer or large consumer of illicit drugs; some cultivation of cannabis for local consumption

  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands

    NA

  • Holy See (Vatican City)

    NA

  • Honduras

    transshipment point for cocaine destined for the United States and precursor chemicals used to produce illicit drugs; some experimental coca cultivation

  • Hong Kong

    modern banking system provides conduit for money laundering; groups involved in money laundering range from local street organizations to sophisticated international syndicates involved in assorted criminal activities, including drug trafficking; major source of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics

  • Hungary

    transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and cannabis and for South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; limited producer of precursor chemicals, particularly for amphetamine and methamphetamine; efforts to counter money laundering, related to organized crime and drug trafficking are improving but remain vulnerable; significant consumer of ecstasy

  • India

    source and transit point for illicit narcotics and precursor chemicals bound for Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and North America; in 2020 India exported over $19 billion of illegal pharmaceutical drugs; illegal opium poppy growing in the Northeast; traffickers retool commercial chemical factories to produce large volumes of ephedrine, methamphetamine, and other drugs illicitly

     

  • Indonesia

    a transit and destination point for illicit narcotics; consumer of crystal methamphetamine trafficked in Burma and Pakistan and also transit to Australia and New Zealand; significant consumer of ecstasy from China and the Netherlands and domestically grown cannabis

     

  • Iran

    significant transit and destination country for opiates and cannabis products mainly from Afghanistan; produces and consumes methamphetamine and traffics it to  international markets; one of the primary transshipment routes for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe

  • Ireland

    transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; increasing consumption of South American cocaine; minor transshipment point for heroin and cocaine destined for Western Europe; despite recent legislation, narcotics-related money laundering - using bureaux de change, trusts, and shell companies involving the offshore financial community - remains a concern

  • Israel

    increasingly concerned about ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and, increasingly, from Jordan; money-laundering center

  • Italy

    important gateway for drug trafficking; organized crime groups allied with Colombian and Spanish groups trafficking cocaine to Europe

  • Jamaica

    the largest Caribbean source of marijuana which is trafficked to other Caribbean countries for illegal weapons and other contraband; transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to North America and other international markets

  • Jordan

    primarily a transshipment country for amphetamine tablets originating in Lebanon and Syria and destined for Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Gulf countries; the government is increasingly concerned about domestic consumption of illicit drugs

  • Kazakhstan

    synthetic drugs dominate the local illicit drug market, smuggled from Southeast Asia, China, Russia and Europe; however the number of domestic clandestine laboratories producing synthetic drugs continues to increase;  remains a transit country for Afghan heroin destined for Russia and Europe.

  • Kenya

    a transit country for a variety of illicit drugs, including heroin and cocaine; transit location for precursor chemicals used to produce methamphetamine and other drugs; transshipment country for heroin from Southwest Asia destined for international markets, mainly Europe, and cocaine transits shipped through Ethiopia from South America; cultivates cannabis and miraa (khat) for both local use and export

  • Korea, North

    at present there is insufficient information to determine the current level of involvement of government officials in the production or trafficking of illicit drugs, but for years, from the 1970s into the 2000s, citizens of North Korea , many of them diplomatic employees of the government, were apprehended abroad while trafficking in narcotics; police investigations in Taiwan, Japan and Australia during that period have linked North Korea to large illicit shipments of heroin and methamphetamine

  • Korea, South

    precursor chemicals used for illicit drugs, such as acetic anhydride, pseudoephedrine, and ephedrine, imported from the United States, Japan, India, and China and then either resold within South Korea or smuggled into other countries

     

  • Kyrgyzstan

    a prime transshipment location; illegal drugs move from Afghanistan to Russia, and sometimes into Europe

     

  • Laos

    Bokeo Province part of the “Golden Triangle,” a notorious drug production and transit area; remains a poppy cultivator and source of illicit opium and a transit hub for other illicit drugs such as amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and chemical precursors; estimate of 4,925 ha of opium poppy cultivated in Laos in 2018

  • Latvia

    transshipment and destination point for cocaine, synthetic drugs, opiates, and cannabis from Southwest Asia, Western Europe, Latin America, and neighboring Baltic countries; despite improved legislation, vulnerable to money laundering due to nascent enforcement capabilities and comparatively weak regulation of offshore companies and the gaming industry; CIS organized crime (including counterfeiting, corruption, extortion, stolen cars, and prostitution) accounts for most laundered proceeds

  • Lebanon

    source country for amphetamine tablets destined for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Libya and Sudan; in 2021 authorities in various Near Eastern countries seized millions of captagon tablets that originated in or transited to Lebanon, prompting Lebanese authorities to conduct raids on captagon production facilities and trafficking rings within the country

  • Liberia

    not a significant transit country for illicit narcotics but proximity to major drug routes contribute to trafficking; not a significant producer of illicit narcotics; local drug use involves marijuana, heroin, cocaine, the synthetic opioid tramadol, and amphetamine-type stimulants

  • Liechtenstein

    has strengthened money laundering controls, but money laundering remains a concern due to Liechtenstein's sophisticated offshore financial services sector

  • Lithuania

    source country for  amphetamine tablets

  • Macau

    asian organized crime groups involved in drug trafficking and money laundering

  • Madagascar

    illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin

  • Malawi

    NA

  • Malaysia

    methamphetamine is the most used and trafficked drug controlled by criminal organizations that produce it; crystal methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), cannabis products, heroin, ketamine, and Erimin 5 (nimetazepam) are smuggled into the country; a transit point for trafficking cocaine and other drugs to the Australian market

     

  • Maldives

    NA

  • Mali

    a transit point for illicit drugs trafficked to Europe; trafficking controlled by armed groups, criminal organizations, terrorist groups and government officials that facilitate, protect and profit from the activity

  • Malta

    minor transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Western Europe

  • Mauritania

    NA

  • Mauritius

    consumer and transshipment point for heroin from South Asia; small amounts of cannabis produced and consumed locally; significant offshore financial industry creates potential for money laundering

  • Mexico

    major source and transit country for heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and illicit synthetic drugs including fentanyl and counterfeit pills destined for the United States; main transit country for cocaine from South America, a transit route and destination for fentanyl and associated precursors originating from China

  • Micronesia, Federated States of

    major consumer of cannabis

  • Moldova

    limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity

  • Mongolia

    NA

  • Montenegro

    drug trafficking groups are major players in the procurement and transportation of large quantities of cocaine  destined for  European markets

  • Montserrat

    transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

  • Morocco

    one of the world’s largest cannabis-producing countries with Europe as the main  market; hashish is also smuggled to South America and the Caribbean where it is exchanged for cocaine which is distributed in Europe; MDMA (ecstasy), originating in Belgium and the Netherlands is smuggled into northern Morocco for sale on the domestic market

  • Mozambique

    used by transnational organized crime networks from West and East Africa and South Asia as a transit point for drug trafficking and international money laundering; heroin from Southwest Asia, cocaine from South America, precursor chemicals and controlled pharmaceuticals from India, and methamphetamine from Nigeria transit destined for Southern Africa, Northern Africa, Europe, Canada, and the United States; cannabis is cultivated in Mozambique

  • Nepal

    illicit producer of cannabis and hashish for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West

  • Netherlands

    a significant transit country for illicit drugs, especially cocaine from South America destined for Europe; one of the largest sources of synthetic drugs for international markets; numerous methamphetamine laboratories; traffickers use postage companies to send cocaine, ecstasy or methamphetamines to global customers

  • New Zealand

    significant consumer of amphetamines

  • Nicaragua

    a transit route for drug traffickers smuggling cocaine from South America through Mexico into the United States via maritime and air routes

  • Niger

    a transit point for illicit drugs trafficked through the Sahara; drugs from South America, particularly cocaine, heroin, cannabis products, and synthetic drugs, transit en route to European and Middle Eastern markets; synthetic opioid tramadol is shipped from Nigeria through Niger to other African countries; hashish from Morocco is trafficked to Libya, Egypt, Europe, and the Middle East; traffickers are formalized networks of Arab, Tuareg, and Toubou transportation groups

  • Nigeria

    a significant source for cannabis cultivation and methamphetamine production; a major place for transnational drug trafficking networks that supply cocaine to Asia and Europe, heroin to Europe and North America, and methamphetamine to South Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand; traffickers also involved in the transportation, facilitation, and distribution of illicitly diverted tramadol

  • North Macedonia

    major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe; although not a financial center and most criminal activity is thought to be domestic, money laundering is a problem due to a mostly cash-based economy and weak enforcement

  • Pakistan

    minor cultivator of opium poppy and cannabis with 1,400 hectares of poppy cultivated 2016; one of the world’s top transit corridors for opiates and cannabis products along with Afghanistan and Iran; precursor chemicals also pass through Pakistan as a major transit point for global distribution

     

  • Panama

    a prime sea and land passage for drugs, primarily cocaine from Colombia, from South America to North America and Europe; traffickers ship drugs in containers passing through the Panama Canal to  North America and Europe

     

  • Papua New Guinea

    transit point for smuggling drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine; major consumer of cannabis

  • Paraguay

    cannabis cultivation and the trafficking of Andean cocaine in the tri-border area shared with Argentina and Brazil facilitates money laundering, violence and other criminal activity. 

  • Peru

    world’s second-largest producer of cocaine, with an estimated 88,200 hectares under coca cultivation in 2020; cocaine is trafficked throughout South America for shipment to Europe, East Asia, Mexico, and the United States; major importer of precursor chemicals for cocaine production

  • Philippines

    cannabis products, methamphetamine hydrochloride (locally known as "shabu"), and MDMA (ecstasy) are locally used; Chinese Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) are the main source of methamphetamine; precursor chemicals in transit from China to Burma

  • Poland

    source country for amphetamines

  • Portugal

    a European gateway for Southwest Asian heroin; transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Europe; consumer of Southwest Asian heroin

     

  • Romania

    a source country for cannabis

  • Russia

    a destination country for Afghan opium and heroin; a transit country for cocaine from South America, especially Ecuador to Europe, Belgium and Netherlands; synthetic drugs are produced in clandestine drug laboratories throughout the country; cannabis cultivated in Russian Far East and the North Caucasus; the majority of hashish is smuggled in from Northern Africa

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

    a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean

  • Saint Lucia

    a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean

  • Saint Martin

    transshipment point for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana destined for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as Europe

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean

  • Saudi Arabia

    regularly sentences drug traffickers to the death penalty, although a moratorium on executions for drug offences has been in place since at least 2020; improving anti-money-laundering legislation and enforcement

  • Senegal

    major transit point on the cocaine route from South America to Europe; the third-largest cannabis-producing country in West Africa

  • Serbia

    drug trafficking groups are major players in the procurement and transportation of large quantities of cocaine destined for European markets

  • Singapore

    drug abuse limited because of aggressive law enforcement efforts, including carrying out death sentences; as a transportation and financial services hub, Singapore is vulnerable, despite strict laws and enforcement, as a venue for money laundering

  • Slovakia

    transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market; consumer of MDMA (ecstasy)

  • Slovenia

    minor transit point for cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe, and for precursor chemicals

  • South Africa

    leading regional importer of chemicals used in the production of illicit drugs especially synthetic drugs

  • Spain

    primary transit point in Europe for cocaine from South America and for hashish from Morocco; cocaine is shipped in raw or liquid form with mixed cargo to avoid detection; traffickers ship methamphetamine via express mail; increasing number of indoor cannabis production; illegal labs cutting, mixing, and reconstituting cocaine, and heroin and methamphetamine labs; synthetic drugs, including ketamine and MDMA (ecstasy) transit from Spain to the United States

  • Suriname

    a transit country for South American cocaine en route to Europe, the United States and Africa; marijuana is the primary drug consumed locally

  • Switzerland

    major source of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics; a significant importer and exporter of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine

  • Syria

    source country for amphetamine tablets destined for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Sudan , and other countries in the Gulf, Mediterranean region, and Europe 

  • Taiwan

    major source of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics

  • Tajikistan

    Tajikistan is a major route for drug trafficking in Central Asia; opiates and cannabis travel from Afghanistan through Tajikistan to markets in Russia, Belarus, and Western and Central Europe

  • Tanzania

    significant transit country for illicit drugs in East Africa; international drug-trafficking organizations and courier networks transit through Tanzania to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine from Southwest Asia; produces cannabis products and khat for domestic consumption and regional and international distribution; traffickers influence politicians, law enforcement, and others in positions of power with money

    (2021)

  • Thailand

    a minor producer of opium, heroin, and cannabis products; major part of the illegal drug market for the Southeast Asia region and the interconnected markets in East Asia and Oceania; transit point for illicit heroin en route to the international drug market from Burma and Laos; “Yaba,” a tablet containing methamphetamine, caffeine, and other stimulants, is the most widely abused drug in Thailand

  • Timor-Leste

    NA

  • Togo

    transit hub for Nigerian heroin and cocaine traffickers; money laundering not a significant problem

  • Trinidad and Tobago

    a transit point for illegal drugs destined for Europe, North America, and the rest of the Caribbean; drug trafficking organizations use proximity to Venezuela, porous borders, vulnerabilities at ports of entry, limited law enforcement capacity and resources, and law enforcement corruption to traffic illicit drugs;  marijuana the only locally-produced illicit drug

     

  • Tunisia

    NA

  • Turkey (Turkiye)

    transit country for heroin, opium, and cocaine trafficked to European markets;  amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) are trafficked to Middle East and Southeast Asia markets; one of the major transit routes for opiates smuggled from Afghanistan via Iran destined for Western Europe; smugglers involved in both heroin sales and transport and production and smuggling of synthetic drugs; criminal networks have interests in heroin conversion laboratories operating in Iran near the Turkish border;  hashish imported or grown domestically for local consumption

  • Turkmenistan

    transit country for Afghan opiates to Turkish, Russian, and European markets, either directly from Afghanistan or through Iran; not a major producer or source country for illegal drugs or precursor chemicals

     

  • Turks and Caicos Islands

    transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

  • Ukraine

    a transit country for illicit drug trafficking into the European Union due to its location amidst several important trafficking routes into western Europe, ports on the Black and Azov seas, extensive river routes, and porous northern and eastern borders; South American cocaine moves through Ukrainian seaports and airports; amphetamine and methamphetamine laboratories supply the local market

  • United Arab Emirates

    a transshipment point for illegal narcotics and a pass-through for drug proceeds; numerous exchange houses and general trading companies increase potential for money laundering; major source of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics

  • United Kingdom

    consumer and transit country for illicit drugs; cocaine and heroin consumption rates among Europe’s highest; criminal organizations engage in domestic drug trafficking and financial crimes; drug use remains linked to serious violence; major source of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics

  • United States

    world's largest consumer of cocaine (mostly from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of MDMA (ecstasy) and Mexican methamphetamine; major consumer of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids sourced from Mexico and China, often mixed with other drugs; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center

  • Uruguay

    transit country for drugs mainly bound for Europe, often through sea-borne containers; limited law enforcement corruption; money laundering; weak border control along Brazilian frontier; increasing consumption of cocaine base and synthetic drugs

  • Uzbekistan

    transit country for Afghan opium and heroin destined for Russia and the European Union; also transit country for hashish, cannabis products, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), and synthetic drugs; cannabis and poppy are cultivated in small amounts for personal use and local sale

  • Venezuela

     a major drug transit country and trafficking route in the Western Hemisphere largely destined for the Caribbean, Central America, the United States, West Africa, and Europe for illegal drugs, predominately cocaine; government officials reportedly complicit with illegal armed narcotrafficking groups; little international drug control cooperation;  significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border

  • Vietnam

    transshipment point for transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) trafficking heroin, crystal methamphetamine, and ketamine throughout East Asia and the Pacific; approximately 90% of the illicit drugs in the country originate in Laos, Burma, and Thailand

  • World

    cocaine: worldwide coca cultivation in 2020 likely amounted to 373,000 hectares, potential pure cocaine production reached 2,100 metric tons in 2020

    opiates:
     worldwide illicit opium poppy cultivation probably reached about 265,000 hectares in 2020, with potential opium production reaching 7,300 metric tons; Afghanistan is world's primary opium producer, accounting for 85% of the global supply; Southeast Asia was responsible for 7% of global opium; Latin America opium in 2020 was sufficient to produce about 61 metric tons of pure heroin

    (2015)

  • Zambia

    transshipment point for moderate amounts of methaqualone, small amounts of heroin, and cocaine bound for southern Africa and possibly Europe; a poorly developed financial infrastructure coupled with a government commitment to combating money laundering make it an unattractive venue for money launderers; major consumer of cannabis

  • Zimbabwe

    transit point for cannabis and South Asian heroin, methaqualone, and methamphetamines en route to South Africa