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Addictions are worsening with the effects of the Covid crisis.


A survey reveals that a third of users of psychotropic products, legal or not, have increased their consumption since the start of the pandemic.

Fear, anxiety, boredom, isolation: difficult to maintain morale after more than a year of health crisis.

In addition to the pandemic itself, the measures it has engendered and the resulting economic crisis are weighing heavily on the mental health of an increasingly large part of the population.

This context is particularly favorable to the development and reinforcement of addictive behaviors.

Whether it is tobacco, alcohol, cannabis but also psychotropic drugs, more than a third of users say they have increased their consumption over the last twelve months.

A finding that emanates from a survey carried out by the BVA institute for the Association Addictions France and published last week.

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The product replaces the social link

The survey was conducted among 2001 people representative of the French population before the announcement of the third phase of restrictions which began on April 3.

Among the participants, 56% declared that the crisis caused by the Covid had a negative impact on their mental health and their morale.

The figure climbs to 64 and 65% respectively for students and people who stopped working during the year.

In these two populations, more than one in two people feel they feel more stressed or anxious than before the crisis, compared to 40% in the general population.

To read also: Bertille Bayart: "How to maintain morale in times of crisis"

"When you have a solid base and a friendly and professional network, it is generally easier to absorb the shock wave,"

underlines Dr Hervé Martini, secretary general of Association Addictions France.

“For many students who are in big cities, their family network is far away and their network of friends relies heavily on college-related relationships.

Losing your job also means losing significant social relationships.

The situation is very favorable to addictions;

often the product replaces the social link.


No more psychotropic drugs

The psychological suffering induced by the crisis thus increased the consumption of people who already had addictive behaviors, especially among the most vulnerable populations.

Whether it is alcohol, tobacco or cannabis, around a third of users report consuming more today than before the crisis.

“This survey puts figures on a background noise that we have been observing for months in consultation.

But we were surprised by this proportion;

a third is a lot.

After the first confinement, data already showed a trend towards overconsumption, but to a lesser extent, rather in around 10-15% of users ”

, comments Dr Hervé Martini.

Other substances that have seen their consumption soar, psychotropic drugs: anxiolytics, antidepressants and sleeping pills.

A third of the patients already on treatment before the crisis are now taking larger doses.

Among people who have lost their jobs, 49% say they take more psychotropic drugs and among patients already followed for an addiction problem, 60% report an increase in their consumption of anxiolytics.

In addition, 10% of French people questioned declared having needed to start treatment since the onset of the crisis with sleeping pills (4%), antidepressants (3%) and anxiolytics (3%).

“Many people have seen their mental state deteriorate and increase transiently, or starting treatment can then be completely medically justified.

In fact, these figures should above all alert people to the need to follow these people well in order to see how their consumption evolves over time, ”

warns Hervé Martini.

The ability of certain drugs to induce addictive behaviors can in fact be minimized by certain patients, “reassured” by the prescription of these psychoactive substances.

Communication disease

The Association Addictions France hopes that one of the positive effects of the crisis will be to get out of the taboo that still hangs over addictive behavior.

Santé Publique France and the Ministry of Health have just launched radio and TV spots to call on people with mental health problems to dare to talk about it.

For Hervé Martini, this can also help to free the voice of citizens on their addictive behavior:

“Anything that can help the people concerned to start a discussion on the subject, whether it is with a doctor or simply a loved one to begin with is good for take.

We must not forget that addiction is above all a disease of communication;

we lock ourselves in our product and nothing exists ”


The Association Addictions France has continued since the first confinement to support people with problematic drug use but also those who had questions about their uses.

“We see that many French people have changed their way of consuming and for the majority that will not pose a problem. But it is important to know that we can talk about it beforehand, and this may be what will avoid falling into pathological behavior


insists Hervé Martini.

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2021-04-12

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