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What will the impact of 2020 be on drug use? The Global Drugs Survey wants to find out

TheJournal.ie is a partner of the Global Drugs Survey 2021 – you can participate here.

Source: Austin Piedmont/YouTube

DESCRIBE 2020 IN one word – including swear words.

That is the first question being asked by the Global Drugs Survey 2021 (GDS) as its authors look to understand the global population’s relationship with alcohol and other substances after the turbulent 12 months the world has experienced.  

The GDS was set up with an aim to better inform drug policy and, in its 10th year, it is focusing on the impact of the unusual effects of 2020, its organisers said. 

“The Global Drug Survey exists to help keep people safe, regardless of the legal status of the drug. 2020 has been a year where honest conversations and keeping people safe should have been every government’s priority,” says Professor Adam Winstock, a consultant psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist who created the survey.

“But sadly, that has not always been the case and issues related to the use of alcohol and other drugs have, frankly, been pretty much ignored. For many of us 2020 is not a year we want think about ever again. But we need to. Covid-19 provided an opportunity for communities to learn and to consider how to make things – including drug use – safer for everyone.”

This year, the researchers want to explore how people have changed the way they use and share drugs, how people try to party and what people might be willing to accept in night-time entertainment environments when clubs and bars get back to opening on a ‘regular’ basis.

So far, the survey has attracted over 20,000 responses around the world. Alongside Hot Press, TheJournal.ie is a media partner to the survey in Ireland, giving you a chance to participate.

“We also want to find out more about how people use online support platforms and how people use digital pleasure mediums (like ASMR and binaural beats) to help them find ‘zen’ within these times,” Winstock adds. 

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“Finally, at a time when the medical use (and legalisation) of cannabis and medical use of psychedelics is breaking through regulatory and evidence barriers, we want to look at whether people who use medical cannabis are at risk of dependence and how and why people microdose with various psychedelics.”

The survey is anonymous and confidential. 

The results of the survey will be published on TheJournal.ie next year.

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