Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Depression, anxiety spur pandemic alcohol consumption


Jan. 30, 2021 Medical News Today

Numerous studies have found that alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, and dramatically so for people with depression.

A new study takes a fresh look at drinking during the pandemic and finds, for the first time, that age affects the likelihood of a person consuming more alcohol as a response to the pandemic.

Lead author Ariadna Capasso, of NYU School of Global Public Health in New York City, says:

“This increase in drinking, particularly among people with anxiety and depression, is consistent with concerns that the pandemic may be triggering an epidemic of problematic alcohol use.”

The study features in the journal Preventive Medicine.

The study’s general findings

The researchers surveyed 5,850 adults from all 50 states through Facebook and its associated platforms during the months of March and April 2020. They asked the participants to describe themselves demographically and report how their alcohol use had changed since the start of the pandemic. 

The survey also included questions that allowed the researchers to identify and measure the participants’ symptoms of depression and anxiety. Each person also reported the degree to which they felt at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Of all the participants identifying themselves as drinkers, 29% reported that their alcohol consumption had increased during the pandemic.

Of the drinkers, 51.2% said that the pandemic had not affected the amount of alcohol that they consumed, while another 19.8% reported drinking less.

Of all the people surveyed, 47% and 30% reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, respectively.

Individuals reporting symptoms of depression were 64% more likely to be consuming greater amounts of alcohol, while anxiety was associated with a 41% higher likelihood of increased drinking.

The study also found that demographic factors affected alcohol consumption during the pandemic:

  • Women were more likely (33% as opposed to 24%) to have increased their drinking than men.
  • Highly educated people were more likely to have started drinking more (32%) than those without a bachelor’s degree (25%).
  • Fewer retirees (20%) reported drinking more than employed and currently unemployed participants, 31% of whom were consuming more alcohol.
  • People living in rural areas were less likely to have upped their alcohol intake (25%) compared with those living in suburban and urban areas (31%).
Read More on Medical News Today

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

The Hedonic Treadmill: A Look at Our Relationship With ‘Happiness’ and ‘Stuff’

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but not stressing about how to pay the mortgage helps.

Read More

How the immune system watches over the brain

Shedding more light on many brain-related conditions, such as autism and Alzheimer's./p>

Read More

22 brain exercises to improve memory, cognition, and creativity

Daily practices or new hobbies. Plenty of ways to flex your mind.

Read More

14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory

14 evidence based ways to naturally improve your memory.

Read More

Long-term, heavy coffee consumption and CVD risk

Too much coffee could take a toll on your heart health.

Read More

Is the Division of Labor Fair in Your Marriage? Here’s How to Figure It Out

Setting expectations about who does what — and adjusting them again and again — is crucial.

Read More

The Essential Role of Sleep in Immunity

Maximizing sleep for defense against COVID and the best vaccine results

Read More

6 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Financial Life

Straightforward ways to master money management.

Read More