The COVID-19 pandemic has had an influence on the lives of almost everyone worldwide.
Many people have been connected to a worsening of mental health and an increase in substance usage as a result of persistent economic challenges, changes in our daily routines, and isolation from loved ones, among other concerns.
The World Health Organization has conducted a series of bi-monthly surveys over the course of a year to look into the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and substance use.
Do you want to know more about it?
Keep scrolling down this article, and we will explore all new trends of substance abuse that erupted during the COVID19 pandemic. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
In comparison to two in five of the general population, 1 in every 2 respondents with mental health issues increased their use of cannabis in March 2020.
Over one-third of those who had alcohol addiction were also diagnosed with mental health problems, and said they have consumed more since the pandemic began. The drug rehab centers were also shut down, which escalated the trend further.
Respondents with a history of substance abuse and mental health disorders had the most moderate and severe anxiety symptoms. The top stressors for respondents were their financial condition (14%), social isolation (12%), and the health of family members (12%).
Since March, only 24% of people with excessive substance use and 22% of those with mental health issues have sought therapy.
In early 2021, there were two more surveys.
The summary report in this series showed that more females expressed mental health difficulties, while more males expressed problematic substance use.
When compared to other survey participants, people living alone were more likely to experience moderate to severe depression symptoms (20% vs. 15%), thoughts of suicide (9% vs. 6%), and problematic alcohol usage (31% vs. 22%).
Females in households with children are more likely than males to experience childcare stress (14% vs. 4%), and financial and social isolation remain key pandemic stressors.
In February 2021, only 18% of respondents with present mental health symptoms and 20% of people with possible problematic substance use said they sought therapy.
Problematic cannabis usage was reported by 50% of respondents with low income or who are unemployed, whereas inappropriate alcohol use was indicated by more than 30% of those who consume alcohol.
Similarly, 45% of low-income or unemployed respondents experienced moderate to severe anxiety, and more than 30% expressed moderate to severe depression.
Financial problems were cited as the top pandemic stressor by 25% of persons with limited income or who are unemployed. It is also a significant reason people sought refuge in substance abuse during the pandemic.
How Did The Pandemic Shift People To Substance Abuse?
We have mentioned varied statistics that look at how the pandemic has affected substance use and mental health by gender and household type.
The most generally cited stress indicators for people living in households with small children were childcare and financial status, which forced them towards substance abuse.
Find out how the pandemic increased substance abuse here:
(i). Habit Changes
For drug addicts, the lockdown was an especially difficult time.
As a result of the pandemic, governments’ restrictive actions generated feelings of isolation, exacerbating mental health problems in people already vulnerable to psychological difficulties, including sadness and anxiety.
It imposed major changes in people’s lifestyles, and the most often used psychoactive substance during this time was alcohol.
Reports showed that alcohol sales in supermarkets and off-licenses increased during the pandemic.
In fact, according to some research, roughly 30% of participants drank at dangerous amounts to cope with the pandemic. But, on the other hand, some folks cut back on their alcohol use because they were afraid of losing their jobs.
(ii). Stressful Events
Stress might intensify tendencies toward overconsumption of alcohol, leading to drunken episodes, blackouts, and drunk-driving accidents.
Researchers have charted patterns in the abuse of substances concerning dramatic events such as man-made economic crises and natural calamities, in addition to personal difficulties.
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak is another dramatic, distressing, and world-altering event that has wreaked havoc on people’s lives all across the world.
This is why people sought refuge in substance abuse during the COVID19 pandemic to cope with these dramatic events.
COVID-19 And SUDs
In the event that they contract COVID-19, people with SUDs are at a substantially higher risk of being critically unwell.
In addition, individuals with SUDs who have underlying health issues linked to their drug use can increase their odds of having COVID-19’s severe symptoms.
Those who take drugs and live in a group setting are especially vulnerable to developing a SUD.
Therefore, it is critical for persons with SUDs to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine to lower their own risk of severe and life-threatening consequences and reduce the danger of infection to those around them altruistically.
The lack of access to support services and support networks for many persons prone to SUDs was one of the many things that changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals with previous SUDs were more likely to relapse due to this.
During the pandemic, the hazards for drug users were also enhanced, as temporary border restrictions disrupted regular illicit drug-running routes, resulting in a scarcity of traditional street drugs.
Government regulations have resulted in the closure of recreational facilities where narcotics are regularly utilized. Hence, it proves the COVID19 pandemic was one of the significant events that erupted these new substance abuse trends.
It’s Time To Recover!!!
Creating corporate drug policy has always been difficult, as it necessitates taking into account both federal and state regulations and the company’s own culture and employee safety concerns.
As more states legalize marijuana, the procedure has become more complicated.
However, there are additional concerns for firms that wish to become “recovery-friendly” and negotiate agreements with workers with substance use disorders (SUDs) so that they can continue working while receiving treatment.
So, if you have been subjugated with the COVID19 substance abuse trend, it’s time you take some strict actions and seek professional help.
If you need more information, reach us in the comment section below. We will get back to you with an answer in no time.