"Despite a 19 per cent decline in the quantity of opiates seized globally from 2017 to 2018 (calculated on the basis of converting those seizures into heroin equivalents), dropping to 210 tons, that was still the third highest amount ever reported and continued to exceed the quantity of pharmaceutical opioids seized.2 The overall decline in the quantity of opiates seized in 2018 was mostly due to a decrease by half in the quantity of morphine seized. The quantity of opium and heroin seized, by contrast, remained rather stable in 2018 (+2 per cent for opium; and -6 per cent for heroin on a year earlier).

"The opiate seized in the largest quantity in 2018 continued to be opium (704 tons), followed by heroin (97 tons) and morphine (43 tons). Expressed in heroin equivalents, however, heroin continued to be seized in larger quantities than opium or morphine. Globally, 47 countries reported opium seizures, 30 countries reported morphine seizures and 103 countries reported heroin seizures in 2018, suggesting that trafficking in heroin continues to be more widespread in geographical terms than trafficking in opium or morphine.

"The quantities of opium and morphine seized continued to be concentrated in just a few countries in 2018, with three countries accounting for 98 per cent of the global quantity of opium seized and 97 per cent of the global quantity of morphine seized. By contrast, seizures of heroin continue to be more widespread, with 54 per cent of the global quantity of heroin seized in 2018 accounted for by the three countries with greatest seizures."


World Drug Report 2020. Booklet Three: Drug Supply. June 2020. United Nations publication, Sales No. E.20.XI.6).