CTV NEWS, NEW STUDY: ALBERTANS TURNING TO ALCOHOL AND CANNABIS TO COPE WITH PANDEMIC RELATED PTSD

Austin Lee CTV News Lethbridge Video Journalist

cannabis, substance, ptsd, pandemic

The study found that 19 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men met the criteria for high pandemic-related PTSD symptoms, while 13 per cent of both men and women reported a significant increase in substance use.

LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. — Dr. Cheryl Currie is an epidemiologist and public health professor at the University of Lethbridge who has spent a large portion of her career working with individuals who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

In June 2020, she surveyed more than 900 Albertans from across the province to identify whether or not individuals were exhibiting symptoms of pandemic induced PTSD and whether they had substantially increased their use of substances such as cannabis and alcohol.

“The more PTSD symptoms [people] were having due to the pandemic; nightmares, rumination where they couldn’t get the pandemic out of their head, blaming themselves or others for the pandemic, the more they were having these symptoms, there was a very strong association with how much they were increasing their alcohol and cannabis use,” said Currie.

cheryl, currie, professor

She also noted that these findings only reflect the first wave of the pandemic.

The study found that 19 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men met the criteria for high pandemic-related PTSD symptoms, while 13 per cent of both men and women reported a significant increase in substance use.

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Retrieved from CTV News, New study: Albertans turning to alcohol and cannabis to cope with pandemic related PTSD (preventionconversation.org)