Estimated Number of People Who Use Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS)

"Primarily on the basis of self-reported responses to general population surveys, a total of 34 million people aged 15–64, or 0.7 per cent of the global population, are estimated to have used amphetamines in the past year, and almost 20 million (0.4 per cent) are estimated to have used “ecstasy”-type substances. Some of those users had used both types of substances. The two most commonly used amphetamines are amphetamine and methamphetamine.

"The global estimate of amphetamines use was similar in 2010, with 33 million past year users or 0.7% of the population aged 15-64. However, these estimates have to be interpreted with caution owing to the lack of data from major consumer countries in Asia where other market indicators, such as seizures and prices, suggest an expansion over the last decade.

"Qualitative information based on perceptions of trends reported by national experts to UNODC shows a continued increase both in terms of the use of amphetamines and the number of people in treatment for amphetamines over the past decade.25 However, data for 2020 show that this increasing trend has paused and that the number of people in treatment for amphetamines may have decreased, consistent with an overall decrease in treatment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.e Trends derived from such qualitative information are consistent with the available supply indicators, such as prices and seizures, which indicate continued global expansion of the market for amphetamines. Qualitative information of this type suffers from methodological limitations, but it has an advantage in that it takes into consideration small-scale studies and expert observations regarding countries where drug use surveys are not regularly implemented.

"Qualitative information on trends in the use of “ecstasy” was not reported by countries before the implementation by UNODC of its new data collection tool (the updated annual report questionnaire, which came into use in 2020), thus qualitative reports of trends in “ecstasy” use are limited to the period 2019– 2020. These reports suggest a moderate increase globally. At the same time, studies from countries where “ecstasy” is used in recreational settings suggest that the use of “ecstasy” declined more than any other drug during the pandemic in those countries.f"


UNODC, World Drug Report 2022 (United Nations publication, 2022).