Women have increased their heavy drinking episodes during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study suggests.
Between the spring of 2019 and the spring of 2020, women increased their heavy drinking episodes — defined as four or more drinks within several hours — by 41%, researchers report in JAMA Network Open. The study found the overall frequency of alcohol consumption rose by 14% among adults over age 30, compared with the same time last year.
“We’ve had anecdotal information about people buying and consuming more alcohol, but this is some of the first survey-based information that shows how much alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic,” lead author Michael Pollard of the nonprofit research organization RAND said in a news release.
Natalie Crawford of Emory University told NBC News that women may be drinking more during the pandemic because they often “bear the brunt of parenting, caring for children and the family.” She added, “We really don’t have a good understanding of what happens when we are in social isolation for such an extensive period of time.”
Is Alcohol Use Spiking in Your Home?
If you are concerned about increased alcohol consumption in your home, our helpline, parent coaches and our Text COVID program are just some of the resources families can use to address a loved one’s drinking.