Dangers Associated with Increased Alcohol Consumption Early in the US COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 interventions like social distancing and extended quarantine have instigated mental health and economic stressors in many individuals, possibly increasing the rate of alcohol consumption and high-risk drinking in the US. Led by PISC Senior Scholar Elizabeth D. Nesoff, PhD MPH, this study conducted an online survey of 2,175 US adults via social media between April 5th and May 5th, 2020. After running regressions on the responses, it found that 10% of respondents reported increased alcohol consumption. It also found that high-risk drinking (more than four drinks a day for men and three for women) was significantly associated with household job loss and symptoms of depression, with high-risk drinkers being almost six times as likely to report increased alcohol consumption on the survey. These results suggest the need for targeted interventions aimed at addressing increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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