Current Affairs
Smoking and cannabis use increased among university students during pandemic

A study among some 800 university students showed that the pandemic created great fear, with almost four out of every 10 reported an increase in smoking and almost 47% said they used more cannabis.

The study showed that the pandemic increased solitude and depression while it emerged that female students and the more religious ones feared Covid-19 more.

The academic study which examined the link between the pandemic, the use of substances and the psychological aspect showed factual trends that need more discussion and analysis. This was stated by the University’s dean at the Faculty for the Social Wellbeing, Prof. Andrew Azzopardi who, together with Jamie Bonnici and Prof. Marilyn Clark, conducted the study among 777 university students.

“It created a lot of anxiety and students who abuse, for example, with cigarettes increased by 40%; those who drink alcohol increased by almost 30% and students who abuse cannabis increased by almost 47%”, Prof. Azzopardi said.

The study also showed that the pandemic created other emotional conditions, with between 60 and 70% of interviewed students said that they felt more nervous, exhausted, depressed and in solitude.

Prof. Azzopardi said that it is clear that the pandemic is leaving a psychological and emotional impact on many persons, including students and that it is important that apart from the awareness of the effects, it is analysed how these will affect the profession that these students will practice and work in.

In their study, the researchers also observed that students who feel more religious were the least who recurred to substances and that female students were the most who feared Covid.