News 4 September 2021

UK lorry driver shortage fueling increase in fake MDMA

4 September 2021

As the shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicles continues to impact food ­­­­supplies across the UK, an expert has said that it is impacting the illegal drug market too.

Thanks to Covid and Brexit, supply chains continue to be disrupted according to an expert who spoke to the Metro. This comes following the recent record number of drug deaths and the notable changes in purity levels.

According to several reports, there has been a cocaine shortage for the last year and a half and fake MDMA has become more prevalent in recent times.

Niamh Eastwood, the executive director of drugs charity Release, told Metro, “The availability of MDMA has been severely reduced in some parts of the UK, with people in London describing it as a drought.

“This could certainly be a result of the reduction of HGVs carrying goods in from Europe, where illegal goods would usually be concealed amongst legal products, and where suppliers have prioritised getting in more lucrative drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.

“Like many other goods that are imported into the UK, we are seeing the supply chain for some illicit substances affected, although as this is an unregulated market it is hard to pin it down… and it is likely the result of a number of different factors.’

“Prior to lockdown, cocaine was at the cheapest and purest we have ever seen. During lockdown, purity remained largely high with some geographical variation across the country, but the price increased, which we think was largely a premium on risk pricing due to an increased likelihood of detection rather than any impact on the supply routes.

“However, as we have come out of lockdowns and restrictions are easing, the price per kilo and purity are back to pre-Covid 19 levels.”

This news comes as retail experts warn that food, wine and toy shortages threaten current availability, with retailers warning that Christmas stock will also be severely impacted.

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