Rise in Lockdown Drug Use Linked to Mental Health Issues

A new survey has been published reporting on the devastating effects that nationwide and global lockdowns have had on people suffering with mental health issues and substance abuse.

The survey delves into not only what drugs are being taken, but also crucially, why are people are resorting to substance abuse during these times? Benzodiazepines and cannabis reportedly  ‘greatly increased’ or ‘increased’ in use within the first 4 weeks of the pandemic. Approximately one in two people surveyed are taking drugs currently; a sharp increase from one in five people before the pandemic.

Anxiety, loneliness and stress

The majority of respondents (71%) reported that they are still using drugs for fun, however there was also a significant rise in those reporting their reason for drug use as a way to cope with their mental health.

 

Mental health concerns that came up were; anxiety, loneliness, stress and escaping reality.  Previously when this survey was conducted before the pandemic, each of these elements of mental health were reported by around 20%. Now however, they are being reported in approximately 30-50% of respondents.

 

Understandably, given the uncertainty of what lies ahead, and some will also be struggling with unemployment, money, relationships and self-confidence.

Reduced Health Care Options

Unfortunately, many health facilities have been operating at reduced capacity and have been unable to see patients due to the outbreak, meaning that people are indeed turning to drug use instead of professional medical help.

As countries begin to open back up again and resume more normal health care activities, they will almost certainly see a rise in people seeking treatment for drug use.

Using our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology, the Evidence MultiSTAT is a fully automated benchtop analyser that enables onsite, simultaneous testing for up to 21 classical, synthetic or prescription drugs from a single sample in under 20 minutes.

 

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Evidence MultiSTAT