How much are we Drinking During COVID-19?
In march of twenty twenty sales of alcohol increased by fifty four percent and stores and two hundred sixty two percent in online purchases compared to twenty nineteen. But then again people were stocking up on everything last march as they hunkered down for an indeterminate. Quarantine but what we need to know is how much of that alcohol or people actually drinking this study by michael pollard and colleagues from gemma open network compared rates of alcohol consumption before and after the cova crisis from may of two thousand nineteen to june of twenty twenty using an online survey. Here's what they learned from the more than fifteen hundred respondents. The frequency of alcohol use increased fourteen percent over the baseline rate of five to six drinks a week so it's a small increase about one day per week of drinking but a real one increases were highest in women and in middle aged adults in women days of heavy drinking increased about fifty percent or to put it another way one in five. Women are drinking more heavily an extra day a week. One in ten women saw an increase in alcohol related problems in their life. So why are people drinking more elation and quarantine stress might explain some of it but there's also been a rise in job loss economic stress and political conflict in this very trying year the regardless of the reason the bottom line is that we need to ask all of our patients if they're drinking more during the pandemic as with all psychiatric symptoms. It's easier when you intervene early before it gets out of hand.