Some 37,000 people have been killed in mostly drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006 [Reuters]

Mexico is the leading source of heroin and marijuana and is now the leading transit country for cocaine coming from South America to the United States.

Drug gangs in Mexico and Central America are competing for lucrative markets.

Drug consumption chart

Who are the consumers?

The vast majority of what is produced in Mexico is still bound for the United States.

26 million drug users

In 2009, around 26 million people in the US use marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or other illicit drugs each month.

19 million marijuana users

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug with an estimated 19 million users. The drug has a street value worth some $133 million.

In 2011, Mexico's National Ministry of Defense confiscated a total of 409,435 tonnes of marijuana, bringing to 3.1 million tonnes confiscated since December 2006 when Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office and declared war against the drugs cartels and organised crime.

In the same period 4,075 tonnes of cocaine and 125 tonnes of heroine were confiscated. Authorities also said a total of 6,634 people have been arrested on drugs-related charges.

Rising use in Mexico

Meanwhile, Mexico is consuming more drugs. Officials have warned this year that the country has seen a significant increase in addiction. Marijuana and cocaine are the most common drugs of choice.

Sources: US Government

Source: Al Jazeera