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Drug dealers are changing tactics to avoid Covid-19 travel restrictions


European officials have warned that drug dealers are adapting to Covid-19 travel restrictions, border closures, switching from human messengers to container and retail chains.

Law enforcement experts say the illicit drug market is “significantly more resilient” to the epidemic due to trafficking, as traffickers change the ways, methods, and means of increasing illicit drug production in Europe.

Moroccan-produced cannabis resin, which was usually transported to Spain and shipped to other EU countries, was increasingly transported by sea using containers, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Monitoring. 2021 Wednesday.

There has also been an increase in marine seizures of heroin, which were usually transported from the Middle East to Europe. The agency notes that in the second half of 2020, large seizures of both cannabis and heroin were registered in a number of European ports.

High Revenue, using business supply chains, says the new sedative eggs have been shipped from Chinese companies as base powders to Europe, where they are processed into finished products, including tablets, capsules and electronic liquids for evaporation.

Organized crime groups also intensified illicit drug production in Europe. Despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19, cannabis cultivation and synthetic drug production in the EU have been stable at pre-epidemic levels. Of particular concern were the signs of a possible increase in cocaine’s presence and use epidemic.

“We are witnessing a dynamic, adaptive drug market that is resilient to Covid-19 restrictions,” said Alexis Gusdel, director of the Lisbon-based agency. “We are seeing ways of using drugs that are becoming increasingly difficult as consumers are exposed to a wider range of stronger natural-synthetic substances.”

Officials are concerned that the rise in insomnia and anxiety during the Covid-19 epidemic could lead more people to self-medicate with new sedative eggs sold by criminal gangs, often sold as “designer benzodiazepines.”

These drugs are not regulated by international drug laws and are often sold as “legal” substitutes for prescription drugs such as Valium և Xanax.

Users may be unaware of the substances or doses they take, which increases the risk of severe poisoning, especially if they use alcohol or other sedatives, according to the EMCDDA.

“New benzodiazepines have been introduced in a new drug market in Europe,” Gusdel said. “It is likely that more substances from this group will continue to appear as users seek new drug experiences or alternatives to over-the-counter drugs.”

Although street drug retailers collapsed during the early 2020 blockades, drug dealers and shoppers also adapted to using encrypted messaging services, social media apps, online sources և mail և and home delivery services.

This raised a question. “Could the long-term impact of the epidemic be the further digitalization of drug markets?”



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