The coronavirus pandemic caused a dramatic increase in mental health, drug abuse, and domestic violence cases. Meanwhile, Canadians also reported a spike in opioid addiction with other substance abuse issues. Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) conducted a study that shows the negative mental health effects of Covid-19.
The government implemented social distancing and lockdown to protect the health of the public. Meanwhile, people suffered from more mental health cases than ever during the lockdown. According to the data recorded from Ontario, opioid toxicity deaths almost doubled from January to May.
Opioid-related fatalities also increased in Alberta where 302 deaths were recorded during 3 months. The health care workers reported that a large population started taking only opioids due to restrictions in the country. This also contributes to increasing cases of a drug overdose.
According to reports, many Canadians started consuming more cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol during the coronavirus crisis. Statistics Canada conducted a survey which shows that the consumption rate of alcohol in summer increased by 19 percent. Also, they observed an 8.3 percent increase in cannabis use and a 3.9 percent increase in the use of tobacco.
The coronavirus pandemic leaves people with lifelong complications and it also affected the mental health of everyone. The virus has been lingering around for almost a year and it severely damaged the mental health of people. According to PHAC, domestic violence cases increased during the pandemic as women had to stay inside their homes at all times. Also, the LGBTQ community suffered as they lived with homophobic parents during the pandemic.
Several agencies related to child welfare are now reporting a lesser number of abuse cases. However, this might due to the fact that children are not attending their school and no one can report such cases on their behalf. Hence, children are not exposed to an outer community during this time as most of them are only living with their caregivers or parents.
The overall mental health of Canadians declined during the coronavirus pandemic. Statistics Canada released data regarding the mental health of Canadians which shows that 68% of the 15-year-old Canadians reported good mental health in 2018. However, this percentage decreased to 54 percent in April and dropped even lower to 48 percent in May of this year.
According to PHAC, vulnerable individuals such as the indigenous community, low-income, and disabled people reported an increase in suicidal thoughts during the coronavirus pandemic. Many people felt distant from their family and friends during the lockdown. This also contributed to the poor mental health and drug abuse cases among these people.
Covid-19 caused the closure of gyms, bars, and restaurants for a long period which led to the poor physical health of people. This also disrupted their relationship with each other as everyone had to practice social distancing during that time. Even though the cases decreased for some time, it left an everlasting impact on people of all age groups.
Canadians require collective efforts to improve the mental health of people and the drug abuse situation in the country.