Faculty Sponsor

Ryan Carpenter

Final Abstract for URS Program

The COVID-19 pandemic, via the need for social distancing, has had an enormous impact on how individuals use substances that we are only beginning to understand. Some factors (e.g., increased social isolation) may have led to increased substance use, while others (e.g., restrictions on access) may have made it harder to use. The impact of COVID-19 is particularly important to understand in individuals whose use puts them at high risk of overdose. Our study sought out how exactly substance use patterns changed due to the pandemic in young adults reporting regular use and co-use of alcohol and opioids. Participants were recruited as part of an internet survey advertised via Facebook and other social media sites. Results will explore whether participants perceived changes in their alcohol and opioid use and co-use, their desire to use, and their ability to access alcohol and opioids. Logistic regression will be used to examine whether feelings of isolation and loneliness were associated with increases in substance use. Findings will provide insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a high-risk group of individuals.

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