Covid-19 pandemic sheds light on substance abuse in Brazil

substance abuse brazil pandemic
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Over one-third of Brazilian smokers have been consuming more cigarettes since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, per a study on substance abuse led by Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. Of the people interviewed, 22.8 percent have increased by 10 or more the number of cigarettes smoked per day, while over 5 percent have smoked at least 20 more cigarettes a day. The study also found that women have been smoking more — with nearly 30 percent of them smoking more than 10 cigarettes a day, a difference of more than 12 percentage points in comparison to Brazilian men.

In relation to alcohol consumption, specialists are especially worried about increasing dependency among female Brazilians amid the pandemic. According to the Brazilian Health Ministry, alcohol abuse among women grew by 3.3 percent in the country between 2006 and 2018. As of 2018, over 101,000 women were being treated for alcoholism in Brazil. Because women tend to have slower metabolisms, alcohol stays in the body for longer — which can contribute to the development of dependency.

Earlier this month, The Brazilian Report’s Gustavo Ribeiro and Lucas Berti showed that coping habits are already affecting Brazilians’ lives — bringing long-lasting consequences for the post-Covid-19 world.

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