Research & Resources

Loneliness, Mental Health, and Substance Use Among Young Adults During COVID-19

This cross-sectional study evaluated relationships of loneliness with depression, anxiety, alcohol use, and drug use during COVID-19, and assessed perceived increases in these symptoms in young adults. Between April 22 and May 11, 2020, 1,008 participants ages 18–35 were recruited through social media to a one-time, online anonymous survey. Perceived changes since COVID-19 were evaluated using 5-point Likert scales. Forty-nine percent of respondents reported loneliness scores above 50; 80 percent reported significant depressive symptoms; 61 percent reported moderate to severe anxiety; and 30 percent disclosed harmful levels of drinking. While only 22 percent of the population reported using drugs, 38 percent of that group reported severe drug use. 
This paper, “Loneliness, Mental Health, and Substance Use among US Young Adults during COVID-19,” was funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
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