SNF DIALOGUES Webcast: Substance Abuse: A Pandemic within a Pandemic
22 April 2021

Unpublished new data showing continuing increases in drug use over the last quarter was presented during the latest SNF DIALOGUES webcast.

During the year since the start of the pandemic, cocaine use in Greece appears to have hit a record high for the decade, while use of antidepressants in March 2021 was double that of the same month in 2019. This new data was revealed for the first time during the Wednesday, April 21 SNF DIALOGUES event, “Substance Abuse: A Pandemic within a Pandemic.

Cocaine use has tripled since the start of the pandemic, and 2020 seems to be the year that saw the highest cocaine use in a decade. In March 2019, cocaine consumption measured 482 g. per day, while during the first lockdown in March 2020, it doubled to 804 g. per day. During the second lockdown in November 2020, it quadrupled, reaching 1,837 g. per day, and the increase continued from there, reaching 2,396 g. per day in March 2021.

This new data was shared publicly for the first time and analyzed during the SNF DIALOGUES webcast by National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) Professor of Analytical Chemistry Nikos Thomaidis. Thomaidis gathered the data through chemical analysis of sewage in Attica at the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at NKUA.

Sociologist and Research Director of KETHEA (the Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals) Gerasimos Papanastasatos offered interpretation of the data, discussing its social implications.

For more information is available at 

Watch the DIALOGUES webcast, “Substance Abuse: A Pandemic within a Pandemic,”  at

The DIALOGUES are curated and moderated by Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.

*The opinions expressed by DIALOGUES participants, whether representing officially institutions and organizations or themselves, are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) or iMEdD. Speakers’ remarks are made freely, without prior guidance or intervention from the team.