Up to half of Irish cannabis users surveyed said they have stopped or reduced their use of the drug during the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report.
A study by the EU drugs agency – based on surveys of users and experts – also highlighted a number of other trends in Ireland during the lockdown:
- increased violence among high-risk users;
- a rise in the severity and intensity of drug-related intimidation;
- greater interest among users in home cultivation of drugs, particularly cannabis;
- reduction in heroin use among high-risk users;
- rise in demand for low-threshold substitution treatment, possibly due to a drop in heroin availability and less income among users to purchase the drug;
- media reports of illegal raves outside of urban areas
The report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction is part of a series examining the impact of Covid-19.
It is based on a survey of users as well as consultation with experts in EU countries.
Authors cautioned that web surveys were not representative of the general population but did provide a detailed picture of drug users difficult to reach by other means.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, Irish Examiner, 23rd June 2020