Young people were prescribed more medication for anxiety and depression during the second coronalockdown. This means that younger people used more antidepressants during that time than before the corona crisis. However, alcohol consumption among young people declined during lockdowns.
That reports research institute Level. It concerns young people between the ages of 15 and 24. While the 2019 situation was much the same as the 2019 lockdown, the second lockdown caused serious problems.
The second lockdown continued until the beginning of 2021 when 218 of 100,000 young people received such a prescription every week. This is compared to the 202 in 100,000 for the same time in 2019. This is most evident in the younger target groups that are suffering from lockdowns. Other age groups had the same number of antidepressants. Nivel compared data collected from around 350 general practices to conduct the study.
CBS reported earlier that 25% of young adults between 18 and 25 felt psychologically ill in the first half. This is about 10 percentage point more than the 2020 average.
Why are lockdowns so damaging to young people? Nivel says that young people are more likely to be affected and more vulnerable by these measures. Consider social isolation as an example. But the measures also “appear to hinder the normal development of young adults, such as completing further education and looking for a job.”
The increase in the number of prescriptions of antidepressants in the second lockdown can also be explained. It is possible that there was some time between the measures being implemented and their impact on young people’s mental health. People with psychological problems may not see a doctor immediately after taking the measures. Nivel also says that the doctor doesn’t just prescribe antidepressants.
This is for’serious, long-lasting problems’, according to the research institute. Antidepressants are only prescribed in “severe suffering” or when other treatments have failed. Nivel worries about the effects of the pandemic on young people. “It’s important to watch the mental health of these young people.”
Alcohol poli fear that young people will consume more alcohol now that they have more freedom. Particularly for minors. They consumed significantly less alcohol during lockdowns. Nico van der Lely is a pediatrician and was the initiator of the first alcohol clinic at the Reinier de Graaf Hospital in Delft. “Certainly now that higher education and sports associations are fully open again in addition to the catering industry, young people can live with the idea of catching up on the quiet lockdown months and partying extra hard with a lot of alcohol,” he says.
The number of children with alcohol poisoning who were admitted to hospital during the lockdown was “drasily” reduced. However, the number of children who were admitted to hospital with alcohol poisoning rose “significantly” after a temporary relaxation in corona measures. Van der Lely and Louise Pigeaud, a PhD candidate, concluded that this was based on data from twelve alcohol clinics in The Netherlands. The number of alcohol poisonings dropped by 70% during the first lockdown. This was from March 16th to May 31st 2020. Weather conditions deteriorated sharply from June 1 to Oct 14. This was due to closures of caterers and clubs for sports and parents being closely supervised. Supermarkets began to enforce stricter rules.