So They Don’t Run Out –
April 5, 2020 – UK drug policy and crime experts told CNN they were worried over a growing number of reports of shortages and escalating prices for drugs, as international borders close and supply lines are cut off.
“There are reports coming through of people stockpiling their favorite drug or their drug of choice, and of course, that just creates a shortage, which has inevitably led to price increases,” Ian Hamilton, senior lecturer in addiction and mental health at the University of York, told CNN. He said he expected to see heroin “disappearing very, very quickly” in the UK. Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, told CNN there was “anecdotal evidence of price rises… and that doesn’t seem surprising.” “People who have an active disorder, addiction disorder, they’re going to look for ways to get a drug,” Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, executive director at NAADAC in the US (National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors), told CNN. Tuohy expects more “poly-use” of readily available marijuana and alcohol, which is already seeing increased consumption worldwide. It takes longer to build up data on illegal drug consumption, but analysts are watching closely. Federal confidentiality laws in the US have been relaxed to allow people to access counseling and peer support faster. NAADAC is offering telehealth training, and resources to help clients find services available in their state.“Whenever there’s a natural disaster, we know that relapse goes up, because of anxiety, the fear of the unknown,” said Tuohy. “Now we have an ongoing, natural disaster, if you will.