Lithuania Country Drug Report 2019

Drug markets

Drug production is considered to be limited in Lithuania; however, there were some cases of cannabis cultivation (both indoors and outdoors) detected in 2017. In addition, one methamphetamine production site was dismantled in 2017. At the production site, production materials to manufacture methamphetamine were found, together with an amount of benzyl methyl ketone (BMK) (precursor for amphetamine and methamphetamine), other chemicals and a small amount of methamphetamine oil. Illicit drug laboratories in Lithuania are quite often mobile or well hidden in rural settings and may operate only sporadically, which makes their detection challenging.

Lithuania is considered a transit country for the trafficking of illicit substances between Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries, mainly by land. Cannabis products are imported into Lithuania from the Netherlands or Spain, mainly in transit to other markets. MDMA/ecstasy tablets are imported from the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. Amphetamine and methamphetamine produced in other EU countries are smuggled through Lithuania en route to consumer markets in the region. New psychoactive substances are imported from China and the Netherlands, mainly by postal courier services. Heroin is smuggled from Central Asian countries through Russia and Belarus, often in transit to Western Europe (the ‘Northern route’). The sea port of Klaipeda remains one of the main entry points for cocaine entering Lithuania, although trafficking over land, via postal services or by air is increasingly popular. Most of the cocaine seized in Lithuania is imported from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or Germany and is destined for Russia or for other European countries.

Cannabis accounts for the largest proportion of seizures, with cannabis resin being seized in the largest amounts. Cocaine is the second most seized substance. Methamphetamine was the third most seized illicit drug in Lithuania in 2017. Following a period of rather low MDMA seizures in the first half of this decade, both the number of MDMA seizures and the amounts seized have increased. Among the new psychoactive substances, the most commonly seized drugs are synthetic cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids. Furthermore, the number of trafficking cases linked to carfentanil, a potent synthetic opioid, and the quantities seized have sharply increased in recent years.

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.