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Published Global Drug Survey - Special COVID-19 edition

Tronica

Director of Research
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,336
Location
Castlemaine, Australia
Global Drug Survey has launched a special survey about drug use in the time of COVID-19. We would LOVE it if lots of Bluelighters could help with this global survey - so we can track how use and markets are changing around the world. Here's the blurb!

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! Today, we invite you to take part in the Global Drug Survey Special Edition on COVID-19. We run the world’s largest drug survey and we are here to help. Read on to find out why we are bothering and why we think you should to.

How are you coping with 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. 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.

Continuing our mantra of having “honest conversations about alcohol and other drugs” we have created this Global Drug Survey Special Edition on COVID-19. The survey is available in multiple languages. Participation will take 10-15 minutes if you recently drank alcohol and slightly longer if you also used other drugs. We’ll ask how COVID-19 has impacted your living situation, your relationships and your mental health. We’ll ask whether your use of alcohol and other drugs has changed and with what consequences as well as about how COVID-19 has impacted the drug market in your country and your access to services. Finally, we’ll invite you to join a GDS cohort with short follow-up surveys every 30 days to monitor changes in your drug use as the world adapts to an unknown but hopefully safer future. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself, support those around you and stay safe y’all!
More info about this survey (following our guidelines):
- Global Drug Survey is a research organisation that has been conducting anonymous surveys about drugs for over a decade.
- GDS reports back on findings quickly to the public and also writes up academic journal articles
- GDS produces apps and other tools to assist people who use drugs/alcohol, with a harm reduction ethos
- Our surveys are approved by the University College London ethics committee
- This survey began 4 May and will end 15 June, 2020
- Everyone is eligible to participate!
- There is no reimbursement or prize offered.
- The survey is completely anonymous. There is an option to provide contact details (kept in a separate database) should you wish to complete a follow-up. This is completely optional, but also cannot be traced back to your answers. To link the data anonymously, we ask you to save a unique code to enter later.
- The time commitment is between 15-25 minutes - note that this survey is MUCH SHORTER than our normal annual survey. But it is specific enough to be useful (some of the 5 minute surveys are so general they become impossible to use...)
- I am one of the lead researchers on this survey and am happy to respond to any questions in this thread!

SURVEY LINK <---- please click here!

Also, check out the GDS YouTube - which has lots of Corona Conversations (interviews with experts around the world about how COVID-19 is affecting drug supply, drug treatment, drug harms and drug use!)
 
Last edited:

Tronica

Director of Research
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,336
Location
Castlemaine, Australia
I'm doing a webinar in a few weeks to present the findings of this study. Would you like to tune in? Register here!
It's on at Sep 8, 2020 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
(That's 8am Melbourne time the next day - sorry it's not such a good time for the Europeans)

Global drug market shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings and Methods

This one hour webinar will present preliminary findings from the Global Drug Survey COVID-19 edition, an international web-based survey that was completed by tens of thousands of respondents from nations around the world. Questions were asked about changed drug use patterns, drug markets, and other drug-related trends. Researchers will also discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with online survey methods during a global pandemic. Time will be available for audience questions.
 

Tronica

Director of Research
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,336
Location
Castlemaine, Australia
Hi everyone. We published findings from this survey a couple of weeks back. Thanks to everyone who took part! Happy to take questions about the findings - I enjoyed doing the analysis for this one and should be able to answer any questions you have.

Check out the interactive web reports!

Here's some highlights from the executive summary (PDF):

Changes in the use of alcohol
  • 43% of the sample reported an increase in the frequency of drinking (25% a decrease) while 36% of the sample reported an increase in the amount of alcohol they drank on a typical day (22% a decrease) compared to before COVID-19.
  • 30% reported starting drinking earlier in the day compared to before COVID-19 and 42% wanted to drink less in the next 30 days.
  • Drinking alone at home while on video/audio calls, chats or ‘watch parties’ was more commonly reported during COVID-19 (40% ) compared to pre-COVID-19 (16% ).
  • Of 75% who were drinking alone at the time of the survey, 41% reported that they were drinking alone more often compared to before COVID-19.
  • 41% of people with a mental health or neurodevelopmental condition reported they were drinking more due to increased stress about COVID-19 compared to 21% of people without mental health or neurodevelopmental conditions.
  • Those who increased drinking and reported a mental health or neurodevelopmental condition were at least twice as likely to report feeling (more) depressed (36% vs. 13% ) and/or lonely (30% vs. 15% ).

Changes in the use of other drugs
  • The drug types reportedly used in the past 30 days by this sample were THC containing cannabis products (28% ), followed by CBD only cannabis products (9% ), then cocaine (7% ), MDMA (6% ), prescription benzodiazepines (5% ), amphetamine (4% ), prescription opioids and LSD each at 3%.
  • 39% of respondents who used cannabis in the past year reported increased use of THC containing cannabis products compared to before COVID-19 with the biggest increases reported by respondents in Australia (49% ) and the USA (46% ).
  • For other drugs, 37% reported having increased their use of prescription benzodiazepines, 26% CBD only cannabis products, 23% psilocybin, and 21% for cocaine, LSD and ketamine.
  • The use of drugs that are commonly used in party settings saw the biggest decreases. More than one third of respondents who reported use of MDMA (41% ), cocaine (38% ), amphetamine (35% ) and ketamine (34% ) indicated that they used less frequently when compared to before COVID-19.
 
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