A supply-based response to a demand-driven problem: a fifteen-year analysis of drug interdiction in Poland


This study examined one key element of drug supply-reduction policies – drug interdiction – in the Central and Eastern European country of Poland. Poland is a nation that has experienced significant social, political, and cultural changes since the fall of communism, resulting in multiple reforms to their national policing model and drug laws. Poland is also uniquely situated in Europe as a consumer nation, a transit country for drugs, and a significant source of amphetamines. These factors place additional strain on agencies responsible for drug interdiction. To-date, however, the efficacy of police-driven interdiction efforts or factors that might impact the success of such policies (e.g., funding, strength of the police force, the number of drug-related crimes detected) have not been empirically examined in this setting. Thus, this study examined officially reported data in Poland over a 15-year time period (2001 to 2015) to determine how these factors were related to the seized amounts of heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, and herbal cannabis, given the historic national context. The main findings indicated that the cannabis and amphetamine markets were strongly linked, while user-based arrests related to particular drug-types (e.g., amphetamines) were found to be significantly related to seizures of different drug-types (e.g., heroin), suggesting possible market integration. Further, government expenditures for public safety were not found to be significantly associated with interdiction efforts.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. 1.

    All data in this study are publicly available from the sources provided above. Please email the author for all data-related inquiries.

  2. 2.

    The Shapiro-Wilk W tests for normality within continuous variables with an n size of between 4 and 2000; the null hypothesis of the Shapiro-Wilk test is that the data are normally distributed.

  3. 3.

    It should be noted that the complete dataset for drug law offenses indicated a non-normal distribution. However, upon further investigation, the two data points at the beginning of the time series (2001 and 2002) were problematic outliers and were thus removed from the dataset. The variable was tested again and the Shapiro-Wilk test failed to reject the null hypothesis, indicating the data were normally distributed.

  4. 4.

    Where −1 < = r < = 1; correlations of positive or negative values ranging from .00–.19 are considered “very weak,” r values from .20–.39 are “weak,” r values from .40–.59 are “moderate,” r values .60–.79 are “strong,” and r values .80–1.0 are “very strong” [43]. Pairwise correlations were calculated; this ensures that listwise deletion is not used to handle missing data, and instead, missing data are pairwise deleted.

  5. 5.

    It should be noted that data from the Polish police reflected different offense figures for 2014 and 2015 from the EMCDDA data, though these numbers were similarly identified as outliers.


  1. 1.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2017a). European Drug Report 2017: Trends and Developments. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

  2. 2.

    Council of Europe. (2005). Organized crime situation report 2005: Focus on the threat of economic crime. Council of Europe Publication.

  3. 3.

    Dolliver, D. S. (2015a). Socio-cultural impacts on drug trafficking trends in Europe. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law, and Criminal Justice., 23(4), 383–406.

  4. 4.

    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). (2010). The globalization of crime: A transnational organized crime threat assessment. United Nations publication printed in Austria. Sales No. E.10.IV.6 – June 2010 – 2000.

  5. 5.

    Krajewski, K., & Wodowski, G. (2015). Historical steps and recent developments of drug Laws in Poland. In R. Soyer & S. Schumann (Eds.), Treatment versus Punishment for Drug Addiction. New York: SpringerBriefs in Criminology.

  6. 6.

    European Commission. (2009). A report on global illicit drug markets 1998–2007. Council of Europe. European Communities Publication, Netherlands.

  7. 7.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2017b). Poland 2017: Country Drug Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

  8. 8.

    Krajewski, K. (2004). Crime and criminal justice in Poland. European Journal of Criminology, 1, 377–407.

  9. 9.

    Krajewski, K. (2001). Drug trafficking in Poland. In V. Ruggeiero, M. Scheinost, W. Valkenburg, & P. C. van Duyne (Eds.), Cross-Border Crime in a Changing Europe. Hauppauge: Nova Science Publishers.

  10. 10.

    Summers, D., & Pływaczewski, E. (2012). The polish context: Examining issues of police reform, drug use and drug trafficking in a transitioning democracy. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management., 35(2), 231–252.

  11. 11.

    Malczewski, A., Kidawa, M., Struzik, M., Stzelecka, A., Misiurek, A., & Leszczynska, M. (2014). Poland:’ New development, trends, and in-depth information on selected issues. 2014 National Drug Report (2013 data) to the EMCDDA by the polish REITOX focal point. Warsaw: NBDP Publication.

  12. 12.

    Krajewski, K. (2003). Drugs, markets and criminal justice in Poland. Crime, Law and Social Change, 40, 273–293.

  13. 13.

    Siemaszko, A. (Ed.). (2000). Crime and law enforcement in Poland on the threshold of the 21st century. Warszawa: Instytut Wymiaru Sprawiedliwości & Oficyna Naukowa.

  14. 14.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2014). Drug Policy Profile: Poland. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

  15. 15.

    Fudalej, S., Kolodziejczyk, I., Gajda, T., Majkowska-Zwolinska, B., & Wojnar, M. (2013). Manganese-induced parkinsonism among Ephedron users and drug policy in Polamd. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 7(4), 302–303.

  16. 16.

    Jahnz-Rozyk, K., Kawalec, P., Malinowksi, K., & Czok, K. (2017). Drug Policy in Poland. Value in Health Regional Issue., 13C, 23–26.

  17. 17.

    Kawalec, P., Sagan, A., Stawowczyk, E., Kowalska-Bobko, I., & Mokrzycka, A. (2016). Implementation of the 2011 reimbursement act in Poland: Desired and undesired effects of the changes in reimbursement policy. Health Policy, 120, 356–361.

  18. 18.

    Moravek, J. (2008). Problem drug use, marijuana, and European projects: How epidemiology helped Czech policy reformers. Central European Journal of Public Policy, 2(2), 26–39.

  19. 19.

    Pływaczewski, E., & Walancik, P. (2004). Challenges and changes to the police system in Poland. In M. Caparini & O. Marenin (Eds.), Transforming police in central and Eastern Europe: Process and Progress (pp. 93–114). London: Transaction Publishers.

  20. 20.

    Journal of Laws. (2001). Police act dated April 6, 1990 chapter 1 general provisions article. Accessed 30 July 2017.

  21. 21.

    Council for Counteracting Drug Addiction (CCDA). (2017). Homepage. Accessed 12 July 2017.

  22. 22.

    Organized Crime Threat Assessment (OCTA). (2011). European Union Organized Crime Threat Assessment 2011. The Hague: EUROPOL: European Police Office Publications.

  23. 23.

    Reuter, P. (2009). Can production and trafficking of illicit drugs be reduced or only shifted? Policy research working paper; no. 4564. Washington DC: World Bank.

  24. 24.

    Paoli, L., & Fijnaut, C. (2006). Organised crime and its control policies. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice., 14(13), 307–327.

  25. 25.

    Pływaczewski, E. (1997). Organised crime in Poland. Transnational Organized Crime., 3(3), 109–125.

  26. 26.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2017c). Ukraine Country Overview. Accessed 11 Aug 2017.

  27. 27.

    Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). (2004). Cooking up a storm: Amphetamine production and trafficking in Poland. DEA intelligence production unit: Drug Intelligence Brief.

  28. 28.

    EUROPOL. (2011). Europol Organized Crime Threat Assessment 2011. The Hauge, the Netherlands. Accessed at: Accessed Oct 28 2018.

  29. 29.

    European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2012). Country overview: Poland. Accessed at: Accessed 28 Oct 2018.

  30. 30.

    Krawczyk, W, M. Kidawa, and A. Strzelecka. (2009). Problem amphetamine use, related consequences and responses, centrum informacji o narkotykach l narkomanii, 2009 National Report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox national focal point, Warsaw.

  31. 31.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2017g). Statistical Bulletin 2017. Accessed 30 May 2017.

  32. 32.

    Cullen, J. B., Praveen Parboteeah, K., & Hoegl, M. (2004). Cross-national differences in managers’ willingness to justify ethically suspect behaviors: A test of IAT. Academy of Management Journal, 47, 411–421.

  33. 33.

    Dolliver, D. S. (2015b). Cultural and institutional adaptation and change in Europe: A test of institutional anomie theory using time series modelling of homicide data. British Journal of Criminology, 55, 747–768.

  34. 34.

    Maume, M. O., & Lee, M. R. (2003). Social institutions and violence: a sub-national test of IAT. Criminology, 41, 1137–1172.

  35. 35.

    Messner, S. F., & Rosenfeld, R. (1997). Political restrain of the market and levels of criminal homicide: a cross-national application of IAT. Social Forces, 75(4), 1393–1416.

  36. 36.

    Kleck, G., & Barnes, J. C. (2014). Do more police lead to more crime deterrence? Crime & Delinquency, 60(5), 716–738.

  37. 37.

    Kelling, G., Pate, T., Dieckman, D., & Brown, C. (1974). The Kansas City preventive patrol experiment: Technical report. Washington, DC: Police Foundation.

  38. 38.

    Police Foundation. (1981). The Newark foot patrol experiment. Washington, DC.

  39. 39.

    McCarty, W. P., Ren, L., & Zhao, J. S. (2012). Determinants of police strength in large U.S. cities during the 1990s. Crime & Delinquency, 58(3), 397–424.

  40. 40.

    Eurostat. (2017). Government expenditure on public order and safety. Accessed 14 April 2017.

  41. 41.

    Maltz, M. (2010). Look before you analyze: Visualizing data in criminal justice. In A. R. Piquero & D. Weisburd (Eds.), Handbook of quantitative criminology. New York: Springer.

  42. 42.

    LAERD. (2017a). Pearson’s correlation using Stata. Accessed 16 July 2017.

  43. 43.

    Evans, J. D. (1996). Straightforward statistics for the behavior sciences. Independence: Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole.

  44. 44.

    LAERD. (2017b). Partial correlation using SPSS statistics. Accessed 16 July 2017.

  45. 45.

    Adamski, A. (1994). World Factbook of criminal justice systems: Poland. Bureau of Justice Statistics Grant No. 90-BJ-CX-0002. 1 Aug 2017.

  46. 46.

    World Bank. (2017). Population statistics: Poland. Accessed 15 July 2017.

  47. 47.

    Corman H & Mocan NH. (2000). “A time-series analysis of crime, deterrence, and drug abuse in New York City,” American Economic Review, 90 (3), 584–604.

  48. 48.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2017d). Czech Republic 2017: Country Drug Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

  49. 49.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2017e). Slovakia Country Overview. Accessed 11 Aug 2017.

  50. 50.

    European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2017f). Belarus Country Overview. Accessed 11 Aug 2017.

  51. 51.

    Psenkova, M. B., Visnansky, M., Mackovicova, S., & Tomek, D. (2017). Drug Policy in Slovakia. Value in Health Regional Issues., 13, 44–49.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Diana S. Dolliver.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Table 6 Shapiro-Wilks test for normality

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dolliver, D.S. A supply-based response to a demand-driven problem: a fifteen-year analysis of drug interdiction in Poland. Crime Law Soc Change 73, 1–23 (2020).

Download citation