Survey for people using cannabis

Global Drug Survey reveals Australians used (slightly) more cannabis during coronavirus


A special edition of the Global Drug Survey (GDS) was conducted earlier this year, aiming to measure changes in drug consumption worldwide throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The results were published on Wednesday.

This GDS had 59,969 participants from 171 countries, including 1889 from Australia. The study was conducted over seven weeks during May and June and was available online. 

When it comes to cannabis and coronavirus, the results are fascinating. Here are some key findings for Australians who used cannabis in the past twelve months. 

  • Of all respondents, 48% have increased their cannabis use, while 17% decreased their cannabis use.
  • Australians with a mental health condition used cannabis as frequently as Australians without a mental illness, as 49% increased their cannabis use, while 16% decreased their cannabis use. 
  • When it came to Australians who decreased their cannabis use, 40% of found cannabis more difficult to access, while 55% found they weren’t in situations where they would normally use cannabis. 

The report also found an increase in the number of people who used cannabis alone, with 55% of respondents increasing their solo cannabis use. However, 91% of cannabis users were already using the drug alone before the pandemic. 

Co-lead researcher Dr Monica Barett from RMIT spoke to The Australian about the changes in Australia’s coronavirus drug market. 

Of those who did access illegal drugs this year, 64 per cent said there was no change in the drug transaction. Only a few reported signs of a constricted drug market.

That included a higher price of drugs, more difficulty finding a supplier and a delay in supply and quality. Australians also drank more alcohol during the pandemic but used less MDMA, cocaine and ketamine.

You can access the full GDS report here

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