Young Adult Vaping Use Down, Depression Up

According to a Mayo Clinic study mental health effects from the pandemic include significant changes in mental well-being and substance abuse among young adults. The study shows that alcohol abuse among young adults  increased from early March of 2020 while use of tobacco and vaping decreased. Mayo Clinic researchers found elevated levels of isolation, anxiety and depression among the 1,018 young adults aged 18 to 25, 55% of whom said that their substance abuse habits had changed while 44% said they reduced use of vaping products. Authors noted that the high decrease in vaping products could be linked to the early information of the risk of lung damage among people who contracted COVID-19. Among young adults who changed their substance abuse habits, 9% said they were struggling with depression and 57% said they felt isolated. A similar study released in June 2020 by the CDC found that 9% of young adults experienced at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom and 5% said they had seriously considered suicide in the previous 30 days. No other age group in the CDC study reported higher levels of anxiety, depression, increased substance abuse and suicidal ideation. The conclusion of both studies stress the need for advancing the understanding of how to best support individuals with depression and anxiety during the pandemic and these needs should be met urgently.

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