Party Drug Use Decreases Due To COVID-19 Pandemic While Marijuana And Alcohol See Drastic Increases

According to an open online survey with 40,000 participants from twelve countries, the use of party drugs like MDMA and also cocaine has decreased around the world as clubs and other events are on hiatus. Research project World Drug Survey found that while the use of marijuana, alcohol and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium) was up during the pandemic, a net share of 19 percent of respondent said they were using less cocaine (share of people saying they used it more minus share of people saying they used it less). A net share of 29 percent said they were using less MDMA. To quantify drug use, the survey asked people if they had used the drugs in question on more or less days of the week than usual.

Out of the twelve countries included in the survey, around 22 percent of Irish people and around 21 percent of Brits and Kiwis said their alcohol consumption during COVID-19 had increased a lot – the highest in the survey. Ireland and New Zealand residents also admitted to binge drinking a lot more (15 and 14 percent said so, respectively), while 47 percent of UK residents indicated they had started to drink earlier than usual. The most common reasons respondents gave for the increase in alcohol consumption were “I have more time to drink” and “I am more bored”.

Marijuana use increased the most in Australia and the UK with 26 percent and 23 percent saying their consumption increased a lot. Among party drug users, Australian and French respondents were most likely to say their use of MDMA and cocaine decreased significantly.