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UK Illegal Drug market being affected by COVID-19

BK38

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In times of toil and hardship, we rely on the things that never let us down: family, friends, Lemsip and Peep Show. For the country’s approximate 3.2million drug users aged between 16-years-old and 59-years-old, continued access to their favourite narcotic will have a huge effect on the way they can navigate the next few weeks of isolation and skyscraping ennui.

But someone has to deliver them the goods and, with borders closing, a countrywide economic crisis, and social distancing keeping punters away from pubs and clubs, it must be a troubling time for our nation’s peddlers of party supplies. I spoke to a handful and got the skinny on drug-dealing in the age of coronavirus.


THE COKE DEALER
At the moment everything seems great. More people are buying coke because they are in their houses, bored. They are drinking at home and they invite a friend over and one thing leads to another and it turns into a house party and they order some coke. People are stressed out, there’s nothing to do, there’s only so many movies you can watch. People want to chinwag. All it takes is one drink really and they call us up.

I sell most of my coke in bars and clubs. One pub I sell in is still quite lively, but apparently they have to shut down soon. The football pub is deserted because there's no football, no-one buys from there anymore.

There hasn’t really been an impact on supplies because the drought hasn't hit yet, but there will be one I think. Importing will be harder. I can see it happening soon. I’ll have to start watering it down or charging more. The people I buy off will do the same. — Nev , 39, from London

THE MDMA AND PSYCHEDELICS DEALER
I sell drugs like LSD, DMT and MDMA that I create in my UK lab. We sell mostly on darknet marketplaces, as well as locally to people I personally know. The biggest effect for me is financial stability. I only accept cryptocurrency and the prices are fluctuating so much that I’ve had to start rejecting orders for certain coins, mainly BTC.

I know that crypto will eventually sort itself out and I’m not personally going to struggle, but I’m more worried about people that work with me – there are normally one or two other people in the lab, plus another doing orders. I wonder if I’ll be able to continue paying them but it will be very hard to run things solo. Everyone gets the same pay regardless of role, including myself, and profits get distributed evenly either at end of month or quarter

Another issue, or rather worry, is that a lot of the precursors I buy come from China so I’ve decided not to risk it. This has limited the drugs I sell due to the inability for me to extract and synthesise certain products such as 2CB. I’ll still be able to sell LSD and DMT.


My instinct tells me there should be no [health] issues importing because the virus probably can’t survive the delivery time, but I don’t know exactly how long it can last without a host and there’s too many variables. So until we know more about the virus and whether China is recovering as well as they say it is, I won’t purchase from there. It’s only really a precautionary step and I have alternatives but they require setting up new supply links and will result in probable price increase. — Root, 29, from Yorkshire

THE COCAINE, MDMA, KETAMINE, CANNABIS AND NITROUS OXIDE DEALER
I sell party drugs. Coronavirus has been good for business so far and I’ve been joking about it in texts – we did a deal the other week where I gave out free masks for orders over a £100. That brought the punters in, though things have slowed down now as people are going out less. But some are definitely buying larger orders and stockpiling. It’s [impacting] more on coke and the weed, as no-one’s raving, which is why MDMA sales have dropped a lot.

Still, there are going to be some mad parties over the next couple weeks. Lots of my customers are often quite young and I don’t know how much money they’re going to have to spend on sesh in a week or two. Business is presumably going to drop and prices will go up, especially with coke as supplies will go down. I’ve got savings so I’ll be fine, but I don’t know how much driving [around delivering] I’ll be able to do if a lockdown happens.


Currently, I try and take precautions by wearing gloves when I’m out doing deliveries and I would stop work if I became symptomatic: imagine if I coughed all over the gear and infected my customers! People seem pretty chill when they meet. I’m there to provide a good service, after all. I have had a few people get in the car wearing masks, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s up to them and we’re not there to chat about the weather. — Eddy, 21, from Nottingham

THE CANNABIS DEALER
Supplies of weed are already down and prices on an ounce have gone up from £160 to £240. That is an insane increase and I don’t want to pass that onto my customers, or have to start supplying product that isn’t suitable for them. I only deal a few ounces a week, and I don’t really see people as customers. I know what they like and what’s right for their brain chemistries

I’ve just been to see my supplier and am currently sorting out some final orders. After this Saturday I’m stopping and going into self-isolation until everything blows over. I grow my own stuff at home so my own use won’t be affected by coronavirus. Obviously I know it’s hugely worrying but I think coronavirus might be a good thing. People need a rest. Modern life is fucked up and the way we treat the planet isn’t natural. I hope it will help reset the way we think about the world. — Steve, 41, from Brighton


https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/dygebq/drug-dealers-how-coronavirus-affecting-business
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R
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Man am I glad I get 4 takeaways a week... Hopefully they won't be retarded and will extend it to a week...

But I don't like betting on doctors not being retarded.
 

BK38

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Yeah, the lack of any opiate sellers was a pretty glaring omission in my book. Also, it's Vice, I wasn't expecting some kind of masterful breakdown, just more of a hint at maybe some general trends. I doubt the younger people at Vice writing these puff pieces know any serious Opiate fiends anyhow...
 

Cream Gravy?

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I doubt the younger people at Vice writing these puff pieces know any serious Opiate fiends anyhow...
I was interviewed and quoted by a Vice writer for an article relating to drugs; I'm a more eloquent writer than him, probably older too if I had to guess. He took my words and twisted them and they became much less meaningful but they then fit the narrative he wanted to paint... I'm like dude, I wrote you an essay full of great quotable stuff, and you didn't use ANY?

So yeah, Vice is kinda silly. Not real news... not fake, just... not real lol.

Edit: wooooo, post #7777!
 

JessFR

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More surprising is the fact that he somehow understands complex organic chemistry but can't figure out that the virus can't survive a two week boat ride from China in a package.
Hahahhaa.

Oh man that didn't even cross my mind. I mean I caught the stupid mail comment but not how otherwise incongruent it was.
 

Cream Gravy?

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Hahahhaa.

Oh man that didn't even cross my mind. I mean I caught the stupid mail comment but not how otherwise incongruent it was.
Yeahhh... it's like bro, are you guys just following a recipe out of The Anarchist's Cookbook or something? I don't want any LSD produced by someone so clearly lacking in knowledge of his area of expertise lol
 

S.J.B.

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Coronavirus triggers UK shortage of illicit drugs
Jamie Grierson
The Guardian
April 12th, 2020
Drug treatment experts have raised concerns a drop in the supply of illicit drugs to the UK triggered by the lockdown is leading to an increase in the number of users turning to more dangerous alternatives.

A reduction in global travel, increased border restrictions and a slowdown in movement within the UK has resulted in a drop in the supply of illicit drugs, including heroin and the designer drug spice.

The Guardian understands that border guards have noted a recent drop in seizures as traffic into the country subsides, while senior police sources have noted the dip in supply.

But experts have warned that fewer drugs on the streets is not as positive as it sounds, as users are already turning to high-strength alternatives such benzodiazepines, while there is a significant risk of heroin users substituting with fentanyl, a lethal drug 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin.

The number of drug-related deaths is at a record high, according to the most recent official estimates, driven by deaths linked to drug misuse.
Read the full story here.
 

CFC

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^ was coming here to post that.

Seems like it might be an opportune moment for the UK government to reconsider its approach to illicit drugs...
 

G_Chem

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I was more surprised at the 29 year old in Yorkshire with his own MDMA, LSD & DMT lab...
Yea as I read that I couldn’t help but feel those guys won’t be in business long. He seems to open about operations.

-GC
 
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