Blog Post: Digitally enabled drug markets: signs of diversification

Drugs, Habits and Social Policy

Teodora Groshkova, Andrew Cunningham, Paul Griffiths, and Roumen Sedefov, of The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Portugal, provide commentary on technology-enabled drug supply and the difficulties in monitoring and addressing this.

"Technology remains a key driver of drug markets, the importance of which is reflected at EU policy level (European Commission, 2020). Through darknet markets, social media and instant messaging apps, communication technology facilitates the sale of drugs (EMCDDA and Europol, 2019).

In 2020, an EU-focused analysis of the darknet ecosystem estimated overall sales of up to EUR 1 million/day (Figure 1). The estimate was based on data from the five largest markets at a given time – Dream, Berlusconi, Empire, Cannazon and Versus. The darknet ecosystem, however, is highly volatile – of these, only Versus remains operational..."

To read more: Digitally enabled drug markets: signs of diversification