Pandemic stress, isolation key components as to why Canadians turned to hashish, alcohol – Aldergrove Star

As Canadians struggled with the isolation and “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic, many turned to substances like alcohol and cannabis to help them cope.

According to a new Statistics Canada poll released on Thursday (March 4th), 16 percent of people said they had used cannabis in the past 30 days. The survey, conducted Jan. 25-31, found that 34 percent of previous users increased their cannabis use during the pandemic. The main reasons for the increase were stress with 65 percent, boredom with 58 percent and loneliness with 39 percent.

Of the people who had previously used cannabis, 25 percent reduced their use and 54 percent consumed the same amount.

The researchers also looked at alcohol consumption. Of those surveyed, 66 percent said they had consumed alcohol at least once in the last 30 days.

The researchers found that 54 percent of people who previously consumed alcohol consumed the same amount during the pandemic, while 24 percent said they had more and 22 percent less.

For people who consumed more alcohol, the reasons were similar to those who used more cannabis.

The researchers found that people are most likely to increase alcohol consumption when they are more stressed. Forty-one percent of those who described the pandemic as “very stressful” or “extremely stressful” saw an increase in their alcohol consumption, compared with 16 percent of those who found the pandemic “somewhat stressful” and “not at all stressful”. ”

Isolation also increased drinking; 33 percent of those who felt isolated during the pandemic increased their alcohol consumption, compared with 12 percent of those who didn’t.

READ MORE: Is It Time To Think About Greener Ways To Package Cannabis?

@ Katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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