Cannabis was the most used drug in Cyprus during the restrictions against the spread of Covid-19, while there has been a drop in the use of ecstasy according to the latest European Web Survey on Drugs published on Thursday by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA).
The survey found that cannabis and ecstasy use are the drugs that have mostly been impacted by the pandemic likely due to supply issues caused by restrictions.
According to a press release from the Cyprus National Addictions Authority (NAAC), which was among the around 100 organisations that participated in the survey, the data for Cyprus are similar to the ones regarding other European countries, as cannabis was the most used substance, with 97 per cent of Cypriot participants reporting that they had used it in the previous 12 months.
In addition, a large percentage of Cypriots (40 per cent) reported using more cannabis during the pandemic, while 40 per cent reported using less ecstasy. In total 606 Cypriots participated in the survey.
Eight out of ten were men and the rest were women, most of them in the 18-35 age group.
Close to 50,000 adults (48,469) responded to the survey that ran between March and April 2021 in 30 countries (21 EU including Cyprus and nine non-EU) when many of them were under lockdowns.
Targeted at people aged 18 and over who have used drugs, the study aims to improve understanding of patterns of drug use in Europe to help shape future drug policies and interventions.
“I am confident that this ‘European Research Alliance’ will enhance our knowledge of substance use patterns and consumption levels in Europe and Cyprus,” said Dr Christos Mina, President of the Cyprus National Addictions Authority.
“It also clearly demonstrates that online research methods have much to offer, especially in times of crisis and the imposition of restrictive measures, where no other methodologies can be applied.
“The assessment of the real needs of society is achieved through research and is a prerequisite for the development of scientifically based policies and interventions,” he concluded.