As we mark the anniversary of the global pandemic, there is new research about young people and substance use during COVID-19. The pandemic has taken a big toll on the mental health of both adults and children, which is generally considered a predicter for increased substance use. But some new research suggests that adolescents and teens are experiencing fewer of the other major factors that influence drug and alcohol use at a young age, which may be a positive sign.
There is no way of knowing what the long-term impacts of COVID-19 are going to be on children, but helping them to cope now to address their fears, loneliness and uncertainty is critical to growing their resilience and protecting their mental health.
Over the last months, we’ve all had to change and adapt to the conditions of a global health crisis. In many ways, it’s been incredibly challenging, but it’s also created new opportunities for positive developments.