Sales in Hydra, drug trafficking and other illegal products site, dropped due to COVID-19

Cybersecurity specialists report that sales on Hydra, a dark website dedicated to the sale of drugs, declined dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic. The investigation, conducted by journalist Andrey Kaganskikh, total drug sales in illegal forums have reached their lowest point so far this year.

In March this year a total of 995,580 orders were recorded in Hydra, which is the average level of activity on this illegal site. The fall began in April, when only 747,226 orders were reported. The addictive substances that showed the biggest drops in demand were LSD, marijuana and cocaine. On the other hand, substances such as hashish maintained similar levels during the period of social distancing.

Substances such as mephedrone reached similar sales in April, making it one of the most popular drugs among Russian users. It has also increased the consumption of A-PVP through this platform.

An organization for the research of the use of these substances surveyed 2 thousand 361 drug users from Russia, obtaining some interesting results about their habits of use during the pandemic:

  • 34% of respondents managed to quit narcotics consumption during this period
  • 15% of respondents reduced their drug use
  • 8% of respondents acknowledge having increased their doses
  • 43% of respondents maintain their regular consumption

Among the main causes for abandoning drugs or reducing their uses are:

  • Difficulty getting substances
  • Health concerns
  • Financial difficulties
  • Increased anti-narcotics police operations

Although the reasons vary, it is obvious that the increase in the price of narcotics is a fundamental factor for declining demand. Substances such as A-PVP increased their cost by an average of 22%, while hashish and marijuana increased their price by 16% and 14% respectively. Other substances, such as LSD and cocaine, have not reported large increases in their prices.

Another factor is the work of the Russian authorities, which have interrupted hash supplies from Morocco to Russia for a couple of months. A month ago a group of drug traffickers managed to enter Russian territory a large shipment of hashish, which has kept the offer stable, although this is expected to change over the next few weeks.