The price of street drugs has risen in London during the coronavirus pandemic due to strict lockdown measures. Regular users who still want access to the product are having to pay more because of a fall in supply. A wholesale cocaine supplier, who sells drugs to smaller dealers in the capital, has told Sky News that the price of a kilogram of cocaine has surged from £36,000 to £40,000.
The un-named dealer says he has been busier than normal while lockdown measures are in place. He added that some of his customers have switched to purchasing more cannabis than cocaine, as the government has asked people to stay inside to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Many street dealers have stopped selling drugs because police are checking more vehicles on the roads in accordance with the ‘stay home’ advice. One drug user said: “Nobody wants to drive as the chances of getting pulled over are much greater now”.
Drugs like cocaine and MDMA are more associated with going out and partying, which is not happening under government instructions to self-isolate at home to protect the NHS.
Interestingly, before the directive to stay at home was issued, some dealers had actually reduced their prices. Some drug dealers were offering discounts before the lockdown was in place in order to secure their own income in these uncertain times. Some users said they bought ‘party packs’, which typically contain both class A and class B drugs, ahead of the lockdown in anticipation that it would become more difficult to buy them.
Ian Hamilton, Senior Lecturer in Addiction and Mental Health at the University of York, has warned that some people will seek out alternatives when their drug of choice becomes harder to source, which raises the risk of harm due to unfamiliarity and their inexperience of safe dosing.
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