Has COVID-19 Changed the Way People Use Drugs?

Has COVID-19 Changed the Way People Use Drugs?

Has drug use changed since the emergence of COVID-19? When it come to determining how the behaviour of drug users have responded to the pandemic, we can call on the 2021 Global Drug Survey (GDS) to give us the answers.

The report is an excellent resource and shows clearly the link between COVID-19 and Drugs in 2021.

A clear trend is that many drug users chose to adopt safer practices to prevent the spread the of COVID-19. Also the reason why some people chose to use drugs in the first place, also changed.

The data was produced from more than 32,000 people in 22 countries. Respondents were asked to rate how COVID-safe their drug taking was, using a five point scale that ran from “never” to “always”. Opinions were collected six months before the pandemic and then nine months into it.

Cannabis Use During The Pandemic

Once COVID-19 began to become a problem for the world, cannabis users started to change their behaviour. The widest shift was a dramatic decrease in sharing a joint, pipe, vape, or bong with others (a massive 42 percent drop).

Other changes – 25 percent were less likely to share loose cannabis with others. 24 percent chose to restrict themselves to solely using joints, pipes and bongs “prepared by themselves.”

20 percent reported an increase in social distancing and ​“some increases in COVID-safe cannabis practices during the time period.”

Cocaine Use During The Pandemic

Cocaine users also changed their behaviour in the face of COVID-19. The reported note that there was a dramatic 26.9 percent reduction in sharing a straw with another person. The use of lines racked up by another person also dropped by 19.8 percent. Body contact after drug use – rubbing nose or lips – also fell by 19.7 percent.

In total, 55 percent of users adopted safer practices when using cannabis during the pandemic, and 42 percent when using cocaine.

Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in December 2021.

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