Drug peddlers took to the internet and launched ‘home delivery’ services, experts warn
Drug dealers have gone online and launched ‘home delivery’ services during the pandemic, experts warn.
The EU’s drug monitoring agency said the supply of illegal narcotics had ‘not been seriously affected’ by the global crisis.
Drugs such as cocaine are being sold at higher potencies which risks more overdoses and growing levels of addiction, the report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said.
It added: ‘Although street-based retail drug markets were disrupted during the initial lockdowns, and some localised shortages were experienced, drug sellers and buyers appear to have adapted by increasing their use of encrypted messaging services, social media applications, online sources and mail and home delivery services.’
Drug dealers have gone online and launched ‘home delivery’ services during the pandemic, experts warn, as a report said drugs such as cocaine are being sold at higher potencies which risks more overdoses and growing levels of addiction (stock image)
‘It also said that ‘social distancing measures… [may have accelerated] the trend we have seen in recent years, where the market is becoming increasingly digitally enabled.’
The report also found that more forms of cannabis were being sold and that sellers were more likely to adulterate natural products with synthetic cannabinoids.
Dame Carol Black, former president of the Royal College of Physicians, told a conference last year that ‘it wouldn’t be too far to go to say it’s almost – for some drugs – as easy as getting your pizza’.
In the middle of the first lockdown in May last year, the international policing agency Interpol warned that drug dealers in countries across Europe were posing as takeaway and supermarket delivery staff to distribute drugs door-to-door.
It is the first time the report by the EU’s drug monitoring agency did not discuss the UK in depth – due to Brexit.