Impacts of covid-19 and associated restrictions on people who use illicit stimulants in Queensland
Sep 25, 2020
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) has released the key findings of their recent Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) survey titled “Impacts of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on people who use illicit stimulants in Queensland”.
The EDRS happens every year, surveying people who use substances about changes in price, purity and availability. However, this year an adapted version of the survey was conducted between 2 April and 9 July 2020 in response to covid-19, in order to understand the ways that the pandemic has affected substance use patterns.
The Queensland findings show that overall most participants reported a decrease in illicit drug use during this period. The substances reported as most commonly increased in use were cannabis (44%) and alcohol (31%). MDMA was most commonly reported as decreased in use, with 77% of respondents reporting a decrease in frequency of MDMA use. The main reasons people gave for this reduction was fewer opportunities to be with people / go out. Availability of MDMA pills was also reported to be most affected by covid-19 restrictions, whereas for other drugs, people reported availability as stable.