The report was published in the journal 'JAMA Network Open.' Findings are based on surveys completed by 1,540 people between the ages of 30 to 80. Participants completed a survey about their drinking habits in both 2019 and 2020. Researchers found that in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The overall frequency of alcohol consumption among participants increased by 14 percent. Participants reported an increase in the number of days a week they drank. They also reported increases in the number of drinks, number of heavy drinking days and number of alcohol-related problems.
Among women, the frequency of drinking increased by 17 percent, with heavy drinking in particular increasing by 41 percent. The frequency of drinking among people age 30 to 59 increased by 19 percent. Among White people, that frequency increased by 10 percent. According to Dr. Paul Earley, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the pandemic has created the “perfect storm” for substance use disorders. "It's very clear that when people are under more stress, they respond to the stress with increasing alcohol consumption. This is the kind of thing that could push people who wouldn't normally have an issue over the edge," Dr. Paul Earley, via CNN