Due to the months we have spent indoors, many of us are able to relate to new habits brought on by loneliness or stress. For some, it has been eating more or drinking more alcohol, and others have begun trying out substances such as marijuana. Although many activities were limited during lockdowns, some states such as California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, New Jersey and New York deemed cannabis dispensaries an essential service.
Recovery.org, a provider of addiction recovery resources and information, conducted a poll of 3,000 respondents and found that over 1 in 3 (36%) North Dakotans say they now have a more relaxed view towards recreational marijuana use after experiencing a year of lockdowns (compared to a national average of 20%).
The survey also found that almost half (49%) of respondents say that following the stress caused by the pandemic, they empathize more with those who turn to substances, such as cannabis, for relief.
With boredom, stress and anxiety levels high, many may be tempted to turn to alcohol or other substances as a coping mechanism during the pandemic. Moreover, the survey found that 38% of respondents believe more people will be influenced to try substances (such as alcohol or cannabis) if famous people are open about their usage on social media platforms like Instagram stories and livestreams.