How have illegal drug markets adapted to the emergence of COVID-19 and social/mobility restrictions imposed across many nations?
The emergence of COVID-19 has prompted an unprecedented global health emergency. Government responses have included social and mobility restrictions (e.g. lockdowns), designed to halt the spread of this highly infectious disease. Markets for illegal drugs have typically been resilient and actors within these networks are known to adapt to new challenges.
How have drug markets changed in light of COVID-19 and social/mobility restrictions imposed across many nations?
To address this question, we will draw on a subsample of people reporting recent illegal drug use in the Global Drug Survey's COVID-19 special survey (N~50,000; data collected 4 May to 20 June 2020; countries with highest participation included Germany, France, Ireland, Brazil, Switzerland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom). Demand side changes by drug type (e.g. cannabis, MDMA, cocaine, LSD) will be analysed by country. Changes in the nature of drug purchase events will be explored, including changes in source and delivery methods. This population's experiences with policing will also be described.