This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Social distancing takes a lot of the fun out of getting fucked up.
Forget party drugs for just a second and consider the most democratic drug of all: pints. Cold, wet, golden pints in a proper glass, the frothy head spilling onto your hand as you carry it through the pub to your gathered group of friends. Friends you can stand right next to, who you can forgive for accidentally spitting in your direction as they tell the same story you heard the previous week. Two or three pints later, you might buy a bag of drugs. You might then do that bag with those same friends. You might then have a series of conversations that you wake up to deeply regret; conversations that make your skull buzz with static and your face feel all hot and damp.
Point being: trying to replicate that experience over a video call isn't quite the same, is it? For a presumably biological reason, something about the immediate proximity of your nearest and dearest enhances the experience of getting purposefully out of your mind.
So, are people still at it? Or has the global coronavirus lockdown stopped these seshes in their tracks? And what about those who drank and used drugs alone pre-lockdown? Has being trapped indoors increased or curbed their intake? And has your mental health been affected at all, by either the pandemic itself, or the fact you've been using drugs more or less?
These are the kind of questions the team behind the Global Drug Survey want to answer with their anonymous Covid-19 survey. "If we had a better understanding of how people adapt to the restrictions related to the global pandemic," says founder Adam Winstock, "we could help provide guidance on what works well for which group and inform future debates on drug policy and public health."
To take part in the survey – which takes about ten minutes if you're a drinker, or 15 minutes if you also use other drugs – click here.