Estonia Country Drug Report 2018

Drug markets

Estonia is mainly regarded as a transit country for smuggling illicit substances to Scandinavian countries and Russia. Domestic production of amphetamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), as well as the cultivation of cannabis is reported, albeit in very small quantities. While criminal networks and organisations continue to play a role, in recent years sales of illicit drugs via the internet, particularly the darknet, have increased substantially. Smuggled into the country via the regular mail service, shipments of new psychoactive substances, notably fentanyl and new fentanyl analogues, are increasingly being reported.

While fentanyl is reported to enter the country from Russia, new fentanyl analogues mainly originate in China. Given the high potency of these substances, they are usually trafficked in very small amounts, making their detection challenging. In 2016, around 0.7 kg of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues were seized from street vendors. Herbal cannabis is trafficked to Estonia from the Netherlands and is mainly intended for the domestic market. Cannabis resin intercepted in Estonia is mainly intended for the Russian market. MDMA/ecstasy seized in Estonia originates from the Netherlands. Other synthetic stimulant drugs, such as amphetamine and methamphetamine, originate from the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania.

Herbal cannabis, GHB, methamphetamine and fentanyl are the main substances on the drug market. In 2016, the amount of cannabis products seized was lower than in 2015. The amount of methamphetamine seized increased almost three-fold compared with 2015; however, it remained below the highest values reported in the last decade. The amount of GHB seized was five times higher in 2016 than in 2015. The number of MDMA seizures and the annual amount seized had both increased since 2010. In 2016, a total of around 5 kg of various new psychoactive substances were seized in Estonia, which was a reduction on 2015.

The Estonian law enforcement agencies put their efforts into reducing the availability of illicit drugs among minors, including distribution via darknet markets, apprehending large-scale trafficking and limiting the spread of fentanyl.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.