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Why we should all be more careful in drawing conclusions about how COVID-19 is changing drug markets

Giommoni, Luca 2020. Why we should all be more careful in drawing conclusions about how COVID-19 is changing drug markets. International Journal of Drug Policy 83 , 102834. 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102834

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How will COVID-19 impact illicit drug markets? This is a question that some academics, practitioners, and journalists have attempted to answer in the wake of the spread of COVID-19, and many others are likely to engage with in the coming months. Some of the already published contributions have made bold statements (e.g. Felbab-Brown, 2020; Saggers, 2020), while others have put forth more cautious considerations (e.g. Hamilton & Stevens, 2020; Volkow, 2020). Here, I will discuss why we must take extra care when seeking to make predictions on this issue. The specific purpose of this paper is to outline some of the common limitations of recent analyses so that we can avoid making the same mistakes in future attempts. The discussion will focus on five elements: 1) evidence; 2) theory; 3) some anecdotal observations; 4) duration, intensity, and timing of the lockdown 5) and context. In so doing, I will cite examples from different stages of drug markets, i.e. production, trafficking, and consumption. These examples will serve to demonstrate how limited our knowledge is of drug markets both during and after the pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0955-3959
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 17 June 2020
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 04:32

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