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It’s a Risky Time for People with Substance Use Issues (BCCSU)

‘Substance use will reflect these difficult times in all sorts of dramatic and probably unpredictable ways,’ says Tim Stockwell, director of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria. ‘It’ll fall out differently for different people. (Photo credit: The Tyee news)

Stress, distancing and few supports increase the chance of addiction and its effects. Some keys to improved safety.

If your consumption of mind-altering substances has been increasing in tandem with the COVID-19 infection curve, you’re not alone.

In the last two weeks of March, sales at BC Liquor Stores were up 40 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. BC Cannabis Stores have also experienced an increase in sales. And research shows that stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, social isolation, boredom and popular culture references that encourage substance use — all things that have been increasing during the pandemic — make people more vulnerable to substance use disorder and relapse. Substance use disorder, which affects about one in five Canadians in their lifetime, occurs when a person’s substance use harms them or other people.

“People who use drugs might have concurrent health issues, including compromised immune systems, that might make them more vulnerable to infection and more likely to experience severe symptoms and negative outcomes because of infection,” said Lindsey Richardson, an associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia and a research scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use.

Click here to read the full story on The Tyee news.

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