GDS2021: Why you should find 25 minutes this year to take part

2020 has been a year like no other – but GDS remains the same. The Global Drug Survey exists to promote honest conversations about drug use and helps to keep people safe, regardless of the legal status of the drug. 2020 has been year where honest conversations and keeping people safe should have been every government’s priority. 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. In our COVID-19 Special Edition, we highlighted how changes in drug use impacted people differently with increases in alcohol use more likely to negatively affect those with pre-existing mental health conditions. We identified which drugs were consumed more frequently (weed, benzos and opioids) and which drugs were consumed less frequently (MDMA and cocaine). And some drugs, such as psychedelics, were a mixed bag (aren’t they always?). However, we did not capture how people, with respect to drug use, have adapted to COVID-19; we want to know how people have changed how 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. 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. 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.

We will leave you with this question. How often in the last 9 months have you been bored and just wanted something to do? Go on… hit the link, take the survey. It’s anonymous and confidential. Your experiences will help inform others and influence change: