Has Covid-19 changed your relationship with alcohol or drugs? Take part in a special edition Global Drugs Survey

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TheJournal.ie is a partner of the GDS Special Edition – you can participate here.

COVID-19 HAS CHANGED our lives: from travel bans, social and physical isolation and empty cities to workers laid off and governments scrambling to muster effective responses.

The impact on people varies widely and differently between countries. Relationships may be placed under new stresses and for those educating children at home, long division will never have seemed so hard.

For the past number of years, TheJournal.ie has partnered with the Global Drug Survey to understand people’s relationship with controlled and uncontrolled substances. The team behind that research work is launching a special edition for Covid-19.

Professor Adam R Winstock, a consultant psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist and CEO of Global Drug Survey, says that people are turning to different coping mechanisms in this unprecedented situation.

“For some people it’s baking, reading, yoga, virtual dance parties, or simply binging with Netflix. For others it’s drinking or using other drugs,” he says.

“For good or bad, disruption to drug markets, and closures of pubs, nightclubs and other social venues means changes to ways and means of how we use alcohol or drugs. We know that access to drugs has been impeded but that alcohol sales are going up in many parts of the globe and while many traditional settings of use have closed, people have found new ways of connecting.

“Some people may use more alcohol and/or other drugs to replace social connection or manage feelings of anxiety or boredom. For others, reduced access, desire and opportunity to use might lead to a period of not using.

“Whether, how and in what quantities people choose to use under these new settings remains unclear as does the true extent of variation across and between different parts of the globe.

“If we had a better understanding of how people adapt to the restrictions related to the global pandemic, we could help provide guidance on what works well for which group and inform future debates on drug policy and public health.”

Interim results from the first wave of participants has shown that out of 2,200 Irish people who took part, 54% said the frequency of their drinking had increased by some capacity. 

The team behind the Global Drugs Survey believe in “honest conversations about alcohol and other drugs” and has launched this special edition of the survey in multiple languages.

It will include questions on whether the respondent’s alcohol and drug use has changed because of coronavirus and if those changes have had subsequent consequences.

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There will also be questions about the drug market and access to services.

The survey is encrypted, all responses are anonymous and confidential and it doesn’t collect IP addresses.

  • It takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. If you are interested in taking part, click here to get started. 

The results of the survey will be published on TheJournal.ie.

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