Alcohol and Cannabis Sales Surged During Pandemic, Study Finds

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Alcohol income successful Canada during the pandemic accrued by astir 5.5 percent, meaning that radical spent $1.86 cardinal much connected alcohol than successful the pre-pandemic period, a caller survey says.

Cannabis income besides accrued by astir 25 percent, translating to an additional $811 million.

Published Thursday successful the aesculapian diary JAMA Network Open, the survey examined alcohol and cannabis income betwixt March 2020 and June 2021, utilizing information from Statistics Canada, then compared that accusation with income successful the erstwhile 16-month period.

“These results … connection 1 of the archetypal nationalist perspectives connected changes successful intoxicant and cannabis usage during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the survey said. “Whether akin patterns are contiguous successful different nations is an unfastened question, but these findings suggest the worth of income information arsenic a strategy to qualify the pandemic’s associations with substance use.”

The survey was co-produced by McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and supported by the Peter Boris Chair successful Addictions Research and the non-profit Homewood Research Institute.

James MacKillop, manager of McMaster’s Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, told CBC News that arsenic Canada emerges from the pandemic, the findings are “important for planning, for resourcing” to combat the summation successful substance abuse.

“These income figures springiness america clues into imaginable changes successful behavioural patterns and tin pass readying to code intelligence wellness impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” helium said.

Sales of intoxicant and cannabis climbed by astir 15 percent successful March 2020 erstwhile radical started stockpiling aft lockdown restrictions were implemented. But MacKillop said cannabis income inactive “dramatically” transcend that of the erstwhile twelvemonth adjacent aft the stockpiling eased.

He attributed the summation successful portion to the drug’s comparatively caller legalization successful October 2018, but it could besides show a worrying signifier of overuse.

“Specifically for the health-care sector, I deliberation this information is simply a spot of a canary successful a coalmine,” helium said.

Leslie Buckley, main of addictions astatine Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, told CBC that the pandemic has led to much stress, which is simply a “perfect tempest for expanding substance use.”

“People were spending a batch much clip astatine location and being bored, having a blur of the weekdays and the weekend,” Buckley said.

“We shouldn’t fto this spell by america without reasoning agelong and hard astir the implications. I deliberation this is an aboriginal informing signal, a reddish flag.”

Andrew Chen

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Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times newsman based successful Toronto.

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