How has the COVID-19 Epidemic Changed Drug Use and the Drug Market in Slovenia?

Matej Sande, Simona Šabić, Mina Paš, Marko Verdenik

Abstract


The purpose of our study was to explore the effect of the
COVID-19 epidemic on drug use, the drug market and the
availability of help and support in Slovenia. Through an
online questionnaire, we collected a non-representative
sample of 680 people who used drugs before and during
the epidemic in 2020. The results showed the use of illicit
drugs and alcohol has reduced. A significant increase
in the frequency of use has only been detected in marijuana.
The most prominent changes in the drug market were the
reduced number of drug dealers and lower availability of
certain drugs. Accessibility to drug services has been reduced
and respondents also had significant financial consequences
due to loss of work. Due to decreased availability of sources
of support at the time of the epidemic, adjustments to
services for drug users are necessary before the end of the
COVID-19 pandemic in terms of promoting online
interventions and maintaining contact with users when the
services are not physically accessible.


Keywords


COVID-19, drug market, drug services, mental distress, drug use

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Copyright (c) 2021 Matej Sande, Simona Šabić, Mina Paš, Marko Verdenik

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096