Experts Predict Coronavirus Lockdown Will Lead to Troubling Increase in Alcohol Use

The coronavirus lockdown is likely to lead to a troubling increase in alcohol use, addiction experts tell The Washington Post.

Alcohol sales have surged, and “quarantinis” have become popular in the past two months. Traumatic events such as September 11, 2001 and natural disasters such as major hurricanes have historically led to a spike in alcohol use and dependence, according to Julia Chester, associate professor of psychological sciences in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University. “Many people will, for the first time, develop an alcohol use disorder,” said Chester, who studies the factors that influence alcohol and substance use disorders.

A number of online resources are available for people struggling with alcohol consumption during the pandemic, such as a new text-messaging support service from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization warned that alcohol consumption may put people at increased risk for coronavirus. “In particular, alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. Therefore, people should minimize their alcohol consumption at any time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” WHO said in a statement.

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.