Has the quantity and quality of drugs been reduced because of the pandemic?
Covid-19 has brought about a lot of restrictions on travel and the import of various products but it does not appear to have affected the movements of drugs. Caritas Director Anthony Gatt said that Malta has not experienced any shortage of drugs supply.
He said it is appreciated that Police have seized various supplies and have worked relentlessly those who seek drugs have not reported any substantial shortages. The trafficking of drugs is a network of clandestine operations and although there have been restrictions or air and marine movements, private boats have been operative and they find ways and means.
He said the only noteworthy decrease is that of synthetic drug which includes ecstasy, LSD, metamphetamine, bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Most of these arrive through postal services and these appear to have decreased.
Responding to questions made by TVM, the Police said that from investigations there has been no difference in the quality of drugs on the market.
Regarding recent cases of overdoses, the Police said the Anti-Drugs Squad has not recorded any particular differences. Recent overdose cases do not appear to have any relativity to the pandemic.
According to the Caritas Director, during the four months of the pandemic, those seeking help from Caritas have done so for different reasons, including 120 who have approached Caritas for help for the first time.
He said those who were already under stress because of drugs have experienced different difficulties because some had lost their employment, some had not been able to pay rent and had to return to their family home, all of these have contributed to considerably increased stress.
Gatt said that Caritas is still receiving support from the Authority for Standards and the Health Authorities and persons are still being tested for Covid-19 before being allowed to enter residential homes.
He said that Caritas also collaborates with Sedqa and Oasi to ensure that now this has become possible, those who require help are able to receive it.
Gatt said the worst now seems to be over and services are almost back to normal. He appealed to all those that feel they require help to continue to come forward.