An app designed to measure blood-alcohol content found a spike in drinking right after people started staying home due to the pandemic, USA Today reports.
The smartphone-connected breathalyzer, called BACtrack, lets people track their blood-alcohol content with a handheld device that can sync readings with an app. People using the app can share their general location and blood-alcohol content level anonymously with the company that makes the app.
Keith Nothacker, CEO of Bactrack, said comparison data from thousands of people before and during the pandemic shows Americans are drinking much more now. The company analyzed increases in alcohol use on the first day after each state issued a stay-at-home order. The biggest one-day jump in alcohol use was in Washington state, where average BACs increased 426% on the first day. In North Carolina, average BACs increased 200% the first day, compared with 160% in Arizona, 83% in Ohio and 65% in Massachusetts.
“Sure enough, when we look at the before-and-after data for people sheltering in place across the country, we’ve never seen such a clear-cut dramatic change from one day to the next,” Nothacker said.
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