Impact of COVID-19 on Drug Markets, Use, Harms and Drug Services in the Community and Prisons

Publications - Released in 2021

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then, the virus has claimed millions of lives and has transformed nearly every aspect of our individual and collective reality. As with all areas of life, drug consumption, related harms and drug markets have been impacted, as have the services established to respond to drug-related problems. During the first weeks of the pandemic, the EMCDDA instigated two rapid assessment studies to identify the initial impact and implications of COVID-19. These studies identified signs of an overall decline in some forms of drug use during the first 3 months of the pandemic, largely as a result of national confinement measures. In addition, many drug services were forced to close or restrict their access, new measures for hygiene and social distancing were implemented, and there was a shift towards greater use of telemedicine.


 Publication(1.44 MB)


  • European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)