SASKATOON -- As more and more people in Saskatoon are spending longer periods of time at home to slow the spread of COVID-19 — it seems sales of alcohol and cannabis have gone up.

Cierra Sieben-Chuback, who owns Living Skies Cannabis, said there was a surge in sales last week.

“People were, not everyone, but a lot of people were buying more than they usually would,” she said. “We were getting a lot more delivery orders than we typically would.”

Sieben-Chuback said her store remains open with limited hours, and staff are practicing safe social distancing while disinfecting surfaces and offering hand sanitizer to customers upon entry.

Sutherland Beer & Wine Store manager Mitchell Woloshyn says their business is booming.

“It’s been really interesting to watch,” he said. “People are stocking up on some of the things that they think they might not be able to get their hands on.”

With social distancing and self-quarantining in mind, the store has partnered with Designated Delivery to bring alcohol right to people’s doors.

“We’re happy to be able to provide a service, especially in this time where everybody’s stressed out and doesn’t want to leave the house,” said Sam Bahm with Designated Delivery, who’s seen an uptick in demand.

“Some $300 orders and stuff like that, people are making sure they’re stocked up.”

Mental health educator James Brayshaw with Saskatchewan Mental Health Training & Support Teams understands why self-isolating could mean higher alcohol and cannabis consumption.

“People have a stress response, and they try to find another way to self-console, to make themselves feel better, to cope,” he said.

“Here’s the reality about substances, we go to them because they work in the short term. But we know the neural-chemistry, and the neural development related to that use often gets distorted with repeated use as we go along.”

His recommendation for sound mental health is to use alcohol and cannabis responsibly and setting "micro-goals."

“Going into it self-metering, to begin with, saying 'You know what I’m only going to have two drinks tonight, and I’m going to stop myself.' We make that decision ahead of time.”