Rise in cannabis use during pandemic

1 min read

Cannabis was the drug most used in Cyprus during COVID19 lockdowns, while there was a drop in the use of ecstasy, according to a survey presented by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA).

The survey found that cannabis and ecstasy use are the drug-consumption patterns most impacted by COVID-19 restrictions since it emerged that while herbal cannabis use increased, use of ‘party drug’ MDMA/ecstasy declined.

According to the Cyprus National Addictions Authority (NAAC), among the 100 organisations that participated in the survey, the data for Cyprus is similar to the European ones.

Cannabis was the most used substance, with 97% of Cypriot participants reporting they had used it in the previous 12 months.

In addition, a large percentage of Cypriots (40%) reported using more cannabis during the restrictive measures, while 40% reported using less ecstasy.

In total, 606 Cypriots participated in the survey. Eight out of ten were men, most in the 18-35 age group.

Close to 50,000 adults (48,469) responded to the survey that ran between March and April 2021 in 30 countries (21 EU and nine non-EU) when many populations were under COVID-19-related lockdowns.

Targeted at people aged 18 and over who have used drugs, it aims to improve understanding of drug use patterns in Europe and help shape future drug policies and interventions.

“I am confident this ‘European Research Alliance’ will enhance our knowledge of substance use patterns and consumption levels in Europe and Cyprus,” said Dr Christos Mina, President NAAC.

“It clearly demonstrates that online research methods have much to offer, especially in times of crisis and the imposition of restrictive measures, where no other methodologies can be applied.

“The assessment of the real needs of society is achieved through research and is a prerequisite for the development of scientifically based policies and interventions.”