The publication of the Spanish government´s OEDA-COVID 2020 Survey shows that the consumption of alcohol, marihuana and prescription drugs fell but that the amount of time spent online increased and gambling remained constant during the pandemic.
The survey was conducted by the central government´s Ministry of Health National Plan on Drugs in November and December last year and included 8,780 telephone interviews, 7,886 of which were with people aged between 15 and 64 years of age.
A sample of the population that gives “ a very exact snapshot of what has happened in Spain” during this time period, according to Joan Villalbi of the National Drug Plan.
In response to the publication of the report, the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has indicated that “it is possible to change habits and addictive tendencies,” and the Ministry will explore “all avenues” to maintain these trends once the pandemic ends.
The report´s findings show that, during the pandemic, the consumption of alcoholic beverages fell for both sexes and in all age groups by an average of 8%.
The consumption of tobacco fell slightly from 29.1% to 27.7% of the Spanish population , however the decline in the over 60´s age group fell by nearly 10%.
Cannabis, which is the most commonly used illegal drug in Spain saw it´s consumption fall by 17% which represents around 6.5% of the population.
Cocaine use, which is relatively under-reported, also declined during the pandemic, from 1.4% before the pandemic to 1% during the pandemic.