Online bargaining and then door-to-door delivery or public parks. During the pandemic and with the restrictions, the small shop had to adapt and the pushers had to disguise themselves as runners, dog sitter or rider to make deliveries. There are two of the many present in the Annual Report of the Central Directorate for Drug Services, a joint body of the Department of Public Security which also reports that there have been fewer deaths due to overdose in 2020 in Italy and the consumption of synthetic drugs among the youngest has grown.
Overdose – 308 people have lost their lives, a figure that, after three consecutive years of continuous growth, is down with a decrease of 17.65% compared to 2019 (374). “We wonder about the reasons for this result, so clearly in contrast – observes the report – The analysis of the data referring to the individual substances that caused the lethal event suggests some reflections. The number of deaths caused byheroina, shows a reduction of 32 units compared to 168 in 2019, ‘compensated’, however, again with regard to opiates, from deaths due to overdose of methadoneand, which, in 2019, had been 16 while, in 2020, they reached 35. It is possible that these are accidents involving people, not necessarily drug addicts, who, in the period of the pandemic, have used the substitute more widely, failing to procure the chosen substance or other substance of abuse ”.
Synthetic drugs – Attention to the phenomenon of synthetic drugs whose consumption is growing among young people, thanks also to the network that allows them to be purchased. “A specific reflection, both in relation to the effects of the pandemic and the extent of the seizures, must be reserved for synthetic drugs. The figure for seizures shows an exorbitant increase (+ 13,896%), considering the ‘weight’, mainly due to two discoveries made, in June 2020, in the port of Salerno, for a total of 14,005 kg of amphetamine, probably destined for markets other than the national one. Net of these relevant episodes – the report underlines – the quantity of synthetic drugs seized in our country appears, all in all, still contained “But, the DCSA warns,” it is necessary not to ‘downsize’ the phenomenon of consumption, which fuels the offer of these drugs. In absolute terms, even if it is, net of the exceptional seizures mentioned, about 18,000 tablets and just over 100 kg of narcotic fallen into seizure, it should be pointed out that the spread of synthetic preparations, both stimulants and depressants of the central nervous system, is growing, especially among the youngest and, thanks to the potential of the ‘network’ increasingly frequently used to procure substances of abuse produced in laboratory, as well as counterfeit medicines or medicines misled by legal circuits ”.
Contrast on the web – “The threat, despite a progressive involvement of criminal organizations, attracted by the constant expansion of demand and consequent profits, is not yet at the level of other substances, but it is conceivable that, in the next few years, the law enforcement device will have to increase its ability to intervene in virtual territory – and compete with its insidious ways of implementing demand, that is, digital sales squares, telematic orders and web transactions, which use, to deliver the amazing, the increasingly whirlwind system of postal shipments typical of the era commerce. In this context, “the health restrictions imposed by the pandemic, they contributed to creating the conditions for the development of new modesty transfer methods quantities of this type of drugs, which are negotiated online, making use of the potential of the dark web and the surface web, and marketing through social platforms and home deliveries. In this regard – the Report recalls – ‘door-to-door’ drug dealing activities carried out by pusher ‘disguised’ as rider or through the use of ‘car sharing’ or even camouflaged by runner Oh yes dog sitter for dealing in parks or gardens “.
The new drugs – The phenomenon of the so-called new psychoactive substances is mirrored to that of synthetic drugs, “molecules for the most part of synthetic origin obtained through constant manipulation of the basic chemical structures of psychotropics already subjected to control, produced with the aim of placing substances on the clandestine market, removed from controls, because they are not included in the international tables “. In the year under review, reports the DCSA, “the Police Forces intercepted 91, of which 33 not yet “tabulated” (mainly cannabinoids, cathinones and opioids), which will be added to the 50 included in the list of banned substances in 2020 as a result of specific provisions of the competent Minister. These substances are not yet particularly widespread in our country. However, it is necessary to keep the level of attention high to avoid being taken by surprise by new consumption phenomena, which, for some overseas states, now represent a real emergency for public health ”.
Organized crime – Of course, there remains a massive presence of organized crime in drug trafficking, with the ‘ndrangheta in a dominant position but also a renewed interest on the part of Cosa Nostra and the Camorra’s ability to mediate with other foreign organizations. “The examination of drug trafficking in its associative dimension confirms, also for 2020, that organized crime continues to find its more profitable source of financing – the Report reads – Drug trafficking is still “the main engine of all illegal activities carried out by large criminal associations”, in the awareness that its profits are not only by far the most significant, among those generated by any other human activity both lawful and illegal, but also represent the easiest self-financing system to allow the carrying out of further criminal activities. The extraordinary profit margins, which derive from drugs – notes the DCSA – have pushed the most aggressive international criminal networks to manage illicit trafficking through massive organizational and logistical structures, as well as to commit considerable capital to finance the continuation and expansion of activities “. In this sense, “globalization has favored a closer interaction between criminal groups operating in different areas and continents and belonging to heterogeneous cultures”.