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Article

Media Exposure and Substance Use Increase during COVID-19

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Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University, Spokane, WA 99202, USA
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Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163, USA
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School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
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Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University, Spokane, WA 99202, USA
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Analytics and PsychoPharmacology Laboratory, Washington State University, Spokane, WA 99202, USA
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Program for Excellence in Addictions Research, Washington State University, Spokane, WA 99202, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126318
Received: 2 May 2021 / Revised: 31 May 2021 / Accepted: 7 June 2021 / Published: 11 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Background: Lockdown measures because of COVID-19 are likely to result in deteriorating physical and mental health. In this study, our aim was to assess the impact of media exposure on increases in substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A nationally representative online survey of 1264 adults was collected during the pandemic in the United States. Logistic regression was used to explore the association between an increase in substance use since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and exposure to cable news or social media together with COVID-19 knowledge, while controlling for covariates. Results: In the multivariable-adjusted models, participants with the highest exposure to social media (at least daily) and low knowledge of COVID-19 were 9.9 times more likely to experience an increase in substance use since the pandemic began (OR = 9.90, 95% CI = 4.27–23.06). Participants with the highest exposure to cable news and low knowledge of COVID-19 were over 11 times more likely to experience an increase in substance use (OR = 11.64, 95% CI = 4.01–24.45). Conclusion: Based on our findings, we recommend that media organizations should aim to reduce uncertainty and also provide positive coverage to counter the negative information associated with pandemics. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; substance abuse; drug misuse COVID-19; substance abuse; drug misuse
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amram, O.; Borah, P.; Kubsad, D.; McPherson, S.M. Media Exposure and Substance Use Increase during COVID-19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6318. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126318

AMA Style

Amram O, Borah P, Kubsad D, McPherson SM. Media Exposure and Substance Use Increase during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6318. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126318

Chicago/Turabian Style

Amram, Ofer, Porismita Borah, Deepika Kubsad, and Sterling M. McPherson. 2021. "Media Exposure and Substance Use Increase during COVID-19" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 12: 6318. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126318

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