Party drug use down for lack of parties, cannabis up to chase boredom
Clubbers in lockdown halved their use of ecstasy, amphetamines and alcohol but four in ten smoked more cannabis, a survey by the Trimbos addiction institute among festival-going 16 to 35-year olds has shown.
The first lockdown, between April and June, when all parties, festivals and concerts were cancelled, had a particularly big impact on the use of party drugs. Fewer clubbers turned to alcohol but four in 10 said they had smoked more cannabis because of boredom.
The use of party drugs rose again during the summer months as the rules were relaxed, and because more party drugs are consumed during the summer anyway, Trimbos said.
The institute said it expected use to return to its usual levels once the present lockdown ends and events can be rebooted. ‘Young people are gasping for parties after this difficult coronavirus year and for many that means taking ecstasy,’ a spokesman for the institute told Nu.nl.
The effects of the lockdowns on the mental health of young people are severe, the institute said, with stress, loneliness and a lack of routine contributing to an increase in psychological problems.
Nine in 10 clubbers told the researchers they felt isolated while seven in 10 felt they needed support in the form of social contacts and routine.
In total 3,765 clubbers took part in the survey, and the results are not representative of Dutch under 35-year-olds in general, the institute said.
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