A report on word-wide drug use, issued by UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), stated that Albania is ranked first in the world for cocaine consumption between the ages of 15–64.
This fact raises many troubling questions for all citizens in the country. If 2.5% of Albanian citizens regularly uses cocaine, it means that at least 70,000 Albanians are drug users.
Cocaine is the drug of the rich, and regular users need a lot of money to satisfy their addiction. At the average market price this would be €500 per month for the occasional user and over €3,000 per month for the regular one.
So the 70,000 regular Albanian users of cocaine are mostly rich or extremely rich. These are the people who are able to spend a yearly amount between €6,000 to €36,000 to sustain their addiction.
Meanwhile, in the developed countries around the world, where more cash circulates in the hands of people, the majority of users are form the middle and poor class. But in places like Albania this is impossible.
Financially speaking, cocaine cannot be used by the poor, workers, or teachers and professors, because these people cannot afford to do so. If they are dependent on drugs, their need could be satisfied only by using poor quality heroine or smuggled hospital morphine.
So how many rich people are there in Albania?
According to the Society of Banks, there are around 90,000 active credit cards in Albania. Given the passion of Albanians to travel abroad, excluding some elders, there are no rich Albanians without at least one credit card. This practically means that almost all of credit card users would be cocaine users, or putting it more clearly, nearly all the rich people in Albania are cocaine users.
Unfortunately, among these 70,000 users there are the country’s leaders, politicians and most likely police and judicial officials, many of whom have been corrupted in order to afford cocaine. 70,000 people manage companies, offices, institutions, the government, and take important decisions for their families, and often for their country, before and after using the drug.
Most likely, the majority of users live in Tirana, because the life style in Puka or Erseka are less adept for this vice.
In a city with 700,000 inhabitants, in which the overwhelming majority is able to just drink a glass of raki, 70,000 users of cocaine is are many, extraordinarily many.
Adding to this that 5.6 % of the population that uses cannabis, we arrive at a number of 150,000 drug users.
A whole class of drugged leaders. Unfortunately, this explains a whole lot of things.
If in Italy the usage is measured at 0.3 g per day for every one thousand inhabitants, and only 1.8 % of the Italians use cocaine, then using the same number, in Albania the usage per person is 0.42 g per day for every one thousand inhabitants. Therefore, Albania consumes 440 kg of cocaine per year. This is more than 1.2 kg of cocaine per day. And it isn’t just cocaine.
If 1 gram of cocaine costs €100, €44 million is spent cocaine per year. This amount is three times higher than the total budget of the Ministry of Culture or the Ministry of Economy, it is one third of the total budget of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture without foreign aid, or all the income of duty tariffs collected in a year.
To put it in perspective, some Albanian families, on average, can spend on cocaine more than half of what some other families spent for the education of their children.
Drugs in Albania have been regarded as a means to get rich fast, in the belief that it only harmed someone else.
From now on, we have to become aware that this harm has been significant and deep-seated, touching the whole of the society. Today, Albania faces a political class that reaches decisions “for the benefit of the public interest” when under the influence. An commercial and professional elite that is also drugged, a system of social values that has been completely destroyed, and a terribly intoxicated environment where the new generations grows up.
But, cocaine of course numbs their pain.