according to report The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the pharmaceutical market. As authorities stepped up efforts to control the virus, nightclubs and bars were closed, slowing demand for drugs such as cocaine.
“However, the latest data suggest that this recession has had little impact on long-term trends. Global cocaine supplies are at record levels. tons were produced, continuing the dramatic increase in manufacturing that began in 2014, but the total was less than half of current levels.”
according to Guardian“Production of the drug’s basic ingredient, coca, surged 35% from 2020-21, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.”
“The pandemic was temporary for the expansion of cocaine production, but now it has recovered and is even higher than before,” said Antoine Vera, a researcher and contributor at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. states in the report of cocaine.
According to the United Nations report, “This surge is partly a result of the expansion of coca plantations, which doubled between 2013 and 2017, peaked in 2018, and surged again in 2021.
“But it is also due to improvements in the conversion process from coca trees to cocaine hydrochloride. In parallel, demand is continuously increasing, with user numbers steadily increasing in most regions over the past decade. These increases can be partially explained by population growth, but also by rising rates of cocaine use.There is also an increase in interception by law enforcement agencies, which is occurring at a faster rate than production, which is , meaning that the ban has slowed the increase in the global amount of cocaine available for consumption,” the report continues.
The cocaine trade has long been concentrated in major hubs like Colombia, but that may be changing. Guardian“I think we need to stop thinking of cocaine as a European/North American problem because it’s also a South American problem.”
“Colombia’s cocaine trade was once dominated by just a few major players. Criminal groups of all sizes, structures and objectives are involved, but there have been recent signs that some of these groups are consolidating.These developments have increased the presence of foreign actors in Colombia. Criminal groups in Mexico and the Balkans have moved closer to production centers to gain access to supplies and wholesale quantities of cocaine,” the report said. “These foreign groups do not seek to control territory. Instead, they seek to make supply lines more efficient. It helps fund all stages of the chain.”
The report continues: However, these markets only cover about one-fifth of the world’s population. If the prevalence in other regions increases to match established markets, the large underlying population will significantly increase the number of users worldwide. This kind of market convergence is already happening in the case of Western and Central Europe, where purity levels and prices are in line with the United States, but the prevalence of cocaine use in Western and Central Europe is still below that of the United States. level is not reached. “