Estonia Country Drug Report 2019

Drug markets

Domestic production of amphetamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) as well as cannabis cultivation has been reported in Estonia, but production sites are usually on a small scale. Importantly, an illicit production site for fentanyl was dismantled in Estonia in 2016. Criminal networks and organisations continue to play a role, but in recent years, sales of drugs via the internet, particularly the darknet, are reported to have increased substantially. Shipments of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and its derivatives, are increasingly trafficked into the country via postal services. Herbal cannabis, GHB, methamphetamine and fentanyl are the main substances present on the Estonian drug market.

While fentanyl is reported to enter the country from Russia, the new fentanyl derivatives mainly originate in China. Given the high potency of some of these substances, they are usually trafficked in small amounts, making them difficult to detect. In 2017, a record amount of fentanyl and its derivatives was seized, up to 10 times more than in previous years. Herbal cannabis is trafficked to Estonia from the Netherlands and is mainly intended for the domestic market. Cannabis resin intercepted in Estonia is mainly in transit to the Russian market. In 2017, the amount of cannabis products seized decreased for the second consecutive year. MDMA/ecstasy seized in Estonia originates from the Netherlands while other synthetic drugs, such as amphetamine and methamphetamine, originate from Poland and Lithuania as well as the Netherlands.

Estonia is mainly considered a transit country for trafficking illicit drugs to Nordic countries and Russia.

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

Data on the retail price and purity of the main illicit substances seized are shown in the ‘Key statistics’ section.

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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.