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In early spring 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a worldwide pandemic. The social and work-related restrictions that governments put in place to reduce transmission of the virus were unlike any in recent history. Researchers have shown that worldwide mental health has been seriously impacted by the pandemic and government measures.

Many researchers have documented the factors associated with anxiety, depression and problematic substance use. Less attention has been paid to the factors associated with having mental health and substance use problems at the same time, known as concurrency, dual diagnosis or dual disorders.

People with concurrency have poorer physical and mental health than people with a single problem. They also use more medical and psychological health services, which places a high economic burden on the health care system.

Ontario researchers conducted a study to identify those groups that are most likely to have both mental distress and risky drinking during the pandemic.

Read out latest Research Snapshot for a plain-language summary of this study.

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