How the COVID-19 pandemic impacted drug use patterns and the opioid market

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for people of all demographics around the world. Therefore, UNODC findings in the context of the pandemic are important

Representation image. Reuters

Drug addiction is a problem that mainly affects young people around the world. What can begin as recreational use or a side effect of self-medication quickly escalates into a devastating addiction to harmful chemical compounds that have long-term harmful effects.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released a report that seeks to draw attention to the increasing use of drugs like cannabis among young people due to the COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic. The report came two days before the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, celebrated on June 26. It shows that drug-related deaths have almost doubled over the past decade. In addition, 10% of HIV cases in 2019 were due to people injecting harmful substances.

Here are some highlights from the 2021 World Drug Report

  • The UN report said that around 275 million people used drugs around the world over the past year, when the COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic began in the first months of 2020. Of the total, 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders
  • Thirteen percent of the total number of people who use drugs suffer from drug use disorders, the report said, adding that opioids continue to represent the greatest burden of disease attributed to drug use. However, the accessibility of pharmaceutical opioids used to treat people with opioid use disorders has increased over the past two decades.
  • The report also pointed to the rapidly growing dark web drug markets. While the phenomenon only started a decade ago, it accounts for at least $ 315 million in annual sales, he said.

How? ‘Or’ What COVID-19[female[feminine drug use model affected by the pandemic

While the impact of COVID-19[female[feminine On drug-related challenges is not yet fully understood, the analysis suggests that the pandemic has resulted in increasing economic hardship that is likely to make illicit drug cultivation more attractive to fragile rural communities.

“The social impact of the pandemic – leading to increased inequalities, poverty and mental health problems, especially among already vulnerable populations – represent factors that could push more people to use drugs,” concludes The report.

  • The World Drug Report 2021 found that drug markets around the world resumed their activity at full capacity after being disrupted in early 2020 when the COVID-19[female[feminine the pandemic has struck.
  • “The resilience of drug markets during the pandemic has once again demonstrated the ability of traffickers to adapt quickly to changing environments and circumstances,” the report said.
  • In addition to cannabis, the report warns of the likelihood of a growth in the cocaine market in Europe, as cocaine supply chains “diversify, lowering prices and increasing quality.”
  • However, despite the pitfalls caused by the pandemic in drug prevention efforts, the UN report says the boom in telemedicine services has helped healthcare workers reach out to drug addicts for advice and assessments. initials.

Cannabis: The New Poison of Choice

  • The study found that the potency of cannabis had quadrupled over the past 24 years.
  • On top of that, he said the percentage of teens who viewed the drug as harmful fell 40 percent in the United States and 25 percent in Europe. This, “despite the evidence that cannabis use is associated with a variety of health and other problems, particularly in long-term regular users.”
  • Forty-two percent of healthcare professionals surveyed in 77 countries said cannabis use had increased over the past year. COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic.

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