Australian Cannabis and Alcohol Consumption Has Risen During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The researchers also found that two in five Australians were reporting an increase in drinking during the coronavirus pandemic.

A new study has show found that approximately half of cannabis users surveyed say that their consumption levels have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 55,000 people from all over the world were studied as part of The Global Drug Survey COVID-19 Special Edition, which found that up to 39% of cannabis users were consuming the drug more often than at the start of this year.  

Drug market shifts were reported too, including half of the Australian respondents saying availability of illegal drugs had decreased, one third reporting increases in drug prices, and one in five reporting decreased drug purity. RMIT University co-lead researcher, Dr Monica Barratt

The study found that the biggest increases in cannabis usage were surveyed in Australia and the US, which recorded 49% and 46% respectively.

The researchers also found that two in five Australians were reporting an increase in drinking during lockdown. Conversely, the data also revealed that two in five Australians are now drinking less than they had been before the quarantine, which suggests that the pandemic may be reinforcing existing consumption patterns.   

"Drinkers who reported having a diagnosed mental health condition were more likely to report increasing their drinking compared to February, before COVID-19 restrictions," Dr Barrett said.

While some may view this news as a cause for concern, the survey has discovered that MDMA and cocaine use amongst Australians had decreased during the same period, which was largely attributed to the lack of access to the majority of traditional party drug consumption settings, such as large social gatherings, raves, nightclubs and music festivals.

Similarly, an earlier edition of the Global Drug Survey—which was published in June this year—predicted that once the lockdowns end many regions around the world may find themselves inundated by a wave of high purity stimulant drugs, as black market vendors attempt "to shift unsold stock and distribute stockpiles that had been prepared for the European summer."

"For drugs where local production is available such as cannabis, use has increased, while for stimulant drugs such as cocaine and MDMA, the reduction in social gatherings has been protective," the report stated.

"Covid-19's impact on the ability for drug cartels and dealing networks to import and distribute their products has been huge. From reduced air and sea freight and in some cases reduced access to precursors, it was always likely that after local reserves were depleted, changes in availability were likely to reduce access and impact on price and availability."

"While in some regions this has been the case, the true impacts of the reduction in supply have been buffered by possibly a parallel reduction in demand."

This pot stock could reach new heights in 2020 due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and as global markets enter meltdown many cannabis companies are feeling the effects of capital crunch.

While the market crash will continue for some time, it represents a golden opportunity for investors who are capable of riding out the volatility until share prices rally.

Luckily, one pot stock has developed antimicrobial drug that can already treat two superbugs while limiting their ability to develop antibiotic resistance.

Investors can also start picking up shares at rock bottom prices, as global investor sentiment continues to dampen thanks to COVID-19.

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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