The expansion of contactless drug dealing, the increase in the use of licit drugs and the adaptation of drug treatment protocols during lockdown are among the findings highlighted today in a new EMCDDA report: Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, drug use, drug-related harms and responses in east European Neighbourhood Policy countries.
This is the first publication released in the framework of the EMCDDA EU4Monitoring Drugs project, funded by the EU and launched in 2019. The project paves the way for the agency to cooperate and exchange data more readily with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) partner countries (1).
Today’s report presents the key results of an EMCDDA trendspotter study, prepared in consultation with some 30 experts from all six eastern ENP countries (2). A summary of the report in English is available in Azerbaijani, Armenian, Belarussian, Georgian, Ukrainian and Romanian.
The report highlights the following changes in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic across the eastern European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) region:
The report concludes that, in the coming months, national authorities may need to consider how to maintain innovative approaches adapted for service provision. They will also need to ensure that practitioners and law-enforcement officers are adequately equipped and skilled to work in the environment where online communication and digital tools may start to dominate.