The booklet provides the summary of the six subsequent booklets of the World Drug Report 2020 by reviewing their key findings and highlighting policy implications based on their conclusions. The main findings in 2020 were:
Effects of covid-19 on drug markets
Impact could be like the 2008 economic crisis
The effect of COVID-10 pandemic on drug markets is unknown and hard to predict but it could be far reaching. Some producers could be forced to seek out new ways to manufacture drugs as restrictions on movement constrict access to precursors and essential chemicals.
Following the economic crisis of 2008, some users began seeking out cheaper synthetic substances, and patterns of use shifted towards injecting drugs. Meanwhile, Governments reduced drug-related budgets.
The biggest immediate impact on drug trafficking can be expected in countries where large quantities are smuggled on commercial airliner flights.
In the longer run, the economic downturn and associated lockdowns have the potential to disrupt drug markets. Rising unemployment and lack of opportunities will make it more likely that poor and disadvantaged people engage in harmful patterns of drug use, suffer drug use disorders and turn to illicit activities linked to drugs – either production or transport.