- 06 May 20
"We need to know more about the current situation; and to find out quickly what is happening to the drugs market we need people to share their lived experiences," he says
A massive thanks to all the Hot Press readers who've completed the COVID-19 Edition of the Global Drug Survey, which in a matter of days has had over 7,000 responses.
"With self-isolating the new going out, it'll be fascinating to see who's taking what - and how they're getting it," says Hot Press Deputy Editor, Stuart Clark. "Our hunch is that a lot of people are sourcing, or attempting to source, their psychoactives online. What are the substances and where are they coming from? How many of the orders are being intercepted by Customs? Are these internet drugs what they say they are on the packet? Has COVID-19 had an effect on price? This being exam season, has there been a spike in so-called smart drugs? Or are people still managing to hook up with their regular dealers and smoking/snorting/swallowing/injecting what they always have? With your help, we'll find out."
Designed to determine what impact Lockdown is having on our drinking and recreational drug taking habits, you can participate confidentially at https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com
The CEO of the Ana Liffey Project, Tony Duffin, believes that the GDS COVID-19 Edition and similar surveys can provide frontline drug services like his with essential information.
"The questions currently being asked are what will happen to the drugs market; what risks will the changes to the drugs market pose to people who use drugs (whether it be problematic use or non-problematic use); and what harms will these risks cause and how can we respond to reduce these harms?" he reflects. "Harm Reduction has been, and will continue to be, an important part of the Public Health response to drug use during the COVID-19 pandemic to help stop the spread of the virus; and to reduce drug related harm. However, we need to know more about the current situation; and to find out quickly what is happening to the drugs market we need people to share their lived experiences. Of course, there are other forms of data; but, most take considerable time to gather. Completing surveys, by reputable organisations, such as the ones listed here can only help us to better understand and respond to emerging drug trends."
Tony goes on to list some further, as he puts it, 'Say Know To Drugs' initiatives that might be of interest to Hot Press readers:
"In the UK the organisation Release, the national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law, has developed an online survey to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on drug purchases. Respondents based in the UK can access the survey here: https://www.release.org.uk/coronavirus-drug-purchases-impact-survey
"In Scotland the Harm Reduction organisation Crew 2000 want to know how the current outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting the supply of drugs; and have developed an online survey. Respondents based in Scotland can access the survey here: https://www.crew.scot/covid-drug-market
"The European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) are gathering crucial information via their online survey on the impact of COVID-19 on people who use drugs, and on the services that support them. The Mini European Web Survey on Drugs: COVID-19 can be accessed https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/Mini-EWSD-COVID-19 by respondents from within the EU."