Depression and drug abuse went through the roof during lockdowns: Canadian poll

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February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A new poll has shed light on the declining state of Canadians’ mental health due to COVID lockdowns, revealing that depression has skyrocketed and that drug use is also on the rise.

The poll, conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), concludes that only two in five respondents said they had strong (very good/excellent) mental health.

The number of Canadians who have feelings of depression rose from two percent in March of 2020, to 14 percent in December of the same year. The poll concluded, “The pandemic is amplifying the close relationship between mental health and substance use.”

“Respondents with past and current substance use concerns report more mental health symptoms. Nearly 1 out of 2 respondents with past substance use disorders report moderately severe to severe depression symptoms since March 2020,” reads the summary of the report of the poll.

“Respondents with past and current mental health concerns report greater increases in substance use. Almost 1 out of 2 respondents with current mental health symptoms who consume cannabis report increased consumption.”

The poll was conducted between October and December of 2020, sampling a total of 4,009 people from across Canada. It found that only 40 percent of respondents reported strong mental health, compared to 67 percent before the lockdowns began.

The poll showed that 30 percent reported an increase in alcohol consumption during the lockdowns, with 40 percent of cannabis users saying their drug use went up as well.

The MHCC’s vice president of programs and priorities Ed Mantler said that “something is going on” with the mental health of Canadians. “That’s such a wide gap, it tells us that something is going on there. The fact that fewer Canadians feel their mental health is strong or excellent doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re experiencing a mental illness.”

“They may be experiencing sadness or anxiety that are completely normal reactions to what’s happening around us. But we do know that those who report severe symptoms of depression in particular have increased substantially.”

Despite authorities locking down many small businesses, kids’ sports, churches, and recreation facilities, governments nationwide kept liquor and cannabis stores open.

Virtually all of Canada is in a state of some sort of lockdown at the moment, the most severe in Quebec with a strict curfew in place, followed by Ontario, which recently announced that stay-at-home orders in the Toronto area would continue until at least March 8.

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Another poll conducted by Nova Scotia’s Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) also raised alarm bells as well to the state of Canadians mental health. It showed that a total of 40 percent of Canadians report that their overall mental health has taken a nosedive since the start of COVID-19.

As for the Leger poll, it also concluded that access for addicts to help services is “not keeping up with increasing need.”

“Only 22% of respondents with current mental health symptoms and 24% with current problematic substance use report access to treatment since March; about 1 in 5 of respondents who have received care report finding access difficult,” the poll noted.

In January, a Canadian doctor’s research showed that lockdowns have caused vastly more harm than good.

Dr. Ari Joffe concluded in a paper published titled, “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink,” that the collateral damage caused by COVID-19 lockdowns will cause more harm than the virus itself, and will also far outweigh any benefits that might have been incurred by keeping everyone at home.

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