image shows Significant Increase in Alcohol Consumption by Woman

COVID-19 Pandemic is Driving Increase of Alcohol Consumption by Women

New Report Suggests COVID-19 Pandemic Driving Significant Increase in Alcohol Consumption by Women

image for post about Alcohol Consumption by Women showing woman passed out with alchol in handStudy indicates a drastic increase in heavy drinking by women.

Evidence suggesting that Americans would turn to alcohol for stress relief relating to the global COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in the crisis, with Nielsen reporting a 54 percent increase in national alcohol sales during the third week of March, when governments started initiating stay-at-home and related measures. Substance abuse researchers considered this data alarming but could not definitively link purchases to abuse as such increased purchasing could be related to stocking up on supplies rather than increased consumption. However, a new study indicates a definite increase in alcohol consumption in older adults and a drastic increase in heavy drinking by women.

The report—“Changes in Adult Alcohol Use and Consequences During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US”—concluded that Americans ages 30 to 80 are drinking 14 percent more often during the pandemic than they did during the prior year, with women drinking 17 percent more often. Of particular concern, the report noted that women reporting heavy drinking—defined as four or more drinks within a couple of hours—increased by 41 percent year-over-year. Women also reported a significant increase in adverse consequences associated with alcohol use. Compared with a baseline of self-reported adverse consequences in 2019, this part of the study represents a 39 percent increase and is “indicative of increased alcohol-related problems independent of consumption level for nearly 1 in 10 women.”

image of girl leaning against wall listening to argumentThe report cites the need for increased public outreach to educate the public about harmful impacts because of this trend.

Along with calling for more studies to determine whether “increases in alcohol use persist as the pandemic continues,” and to assess any resultant psychological and physiological impacts, the report cites the need for increased public outreach efforts to educate the public about potential harmful impacts that may arise because of this trend. “In addition to a range of negative physical health associations, excessive alcohol use may lead to or worsen existing mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, which may themselves be increasing during COVID-19,” stated the report.

That said, study co-author Dr. Michael Pollard, said preliminary studies indicate that depression and anxiety “peaked early in the pandemic,” but have returned to somewhat more normal levels after a couple of months. “A big question now is, will alcohol use behaviors persist, or will they go back to the way they were before COVID-19?” Thus, the need for additional studies.

Pollard also told news outlets that it should come as “no surprise that women reported drinking more than men once the pandemic started,” because women have higher levels of mental distress than men and also face greater economic and social impacts due to the pandemic. Women, he added, are also more likely to be essential workers, which can add even more stress to the equation.

While not specifically called out in the study, Pollard also suggested that the report’s findings indicate that more research needs to be conducted in general on heavy alcohol use by women, a problem that Pollard called a “real and growing concern,” that has been “somewhat overlooked” by the scientific community.

If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of alcohol or substance use and/or relapse, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about their residential program, out-patient program, and intensive out-patient program, and which of these can best fit your individual needs.  These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction and embrace their new happy, healthy, substance-free lifestyle.

We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!

New Report Suggests COVID-19 Pandemic Driving Significant Increase in Alcohol Consumption by Women

image for post about Alcohol Consumption by Women showing woman passed out with alchol in handStudy indicates a drastic increase in heavy drinking by women.

Evidence suggesting that Americans would turn to alcohol for stress relief relating to the global COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in the crisis, with Nielsen reporting a 54 percent increase in national alcohol sales during the third week of March when governments started initiating stay-at-home and related measures. Substance abuse researchers considered this data alarming but could not definitively link purchases to abuse as such increased purchasing could be related to stocking up on supplies rather than increased consumption. However, a new study indicates a definite increase in alcohol consumption in older adults and a drastic increase in heavy drinking by women.

The report—“Changes in Adult Alcohol Use and Consequences During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US”—concluded that Americans ages 30 to 80 are drinking 14 percent more often during the pandemic than they did during the prior year, with women drinking 17 percent more often. Of particular concern, the report noted that women reporting heavy drinking—defined as four or more drinks within a couple of hours—increased by 41 percent year-over-year. Women also reported a significant increase in adverse consequences associated with alcohol use. Compared with a baseline of self-reported adverse consequences in 2019, this part of the study represents a 39 percent increase and is “indicative of increased alcohol-related problems independent of consumption level for nearly 1 in 10 women.”

image of girl leaning against wall listening to argumentThe report cites the need for increased public outreach to educate the public about harmful impacts because of this trend.

Along with calling for more studies to determine whether “increases in alcohol use persist as the pandemic continues,” and to assess any resultant psychological and physiological impacts, the report cites the need for increased public outreach efforts to educate the public about potential harmful impacts that may arise because of this trend. “In addition to a range of negative physical health associations, excessive alcohol use may lead to or worsen existing mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, which may themselves be increasing during COVID-19,” stated the report.

That said, study co-author Dr. Michael Pollard, said preliminary studies indicate that depression and anxiety “peaked early in the pandemic,” but have returned to somewhat more normal levels after a couple of months. “A big question now is, will alcohol use behaviors persist, or will they go back to the way they were before COVID-19?” Thus, the need for additional studies.

Pollard also told news outlets that it should come as “no surprise that women reported drinking more than men once the pandemic started,” because women have higher levels of mental distress than men and also face greater economic and social impacts due to the pandemic. Women, he added, are also more likely to be essential workers, which can add even more stress to the equation.

While not specifically called out in the study, Pollard also suggested that the report’s findings indicate that more research needs to be conducted in general on heavy alcohol use by women, a problem that Pollard called a “real and growing concern,” that has been “somewhat overlooked” by the scientific community.

If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of alcohol or substance use and/or relapse, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about their residential program, out-patient program, and intensive out-patient program, and which of these can best fit your individual needs.  These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction and embrace their new happy, healthy, substance-free lifestyle.

We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!

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About Gulf Breeze Recovery:

Gulf Breeze Recovery, unlike other treatment centers in Florida, is a non 12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab that is changing the future of addiction treatment with their THRIVE® (Total Health Recovery) program focused on overcoming chronic relapse.
Gulf Breeze Recovery’s THRIVE® program is a non 12-step approach designed for those who are looking for a drug and alcohol treatment program to produce a different and positive result.
This non-12 step program allows you to drive beyond your addictions and promotes a new outlook on life.
We are licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, and our last audit scored 99.7! Also, we are gold certified by the Joint Commission.

Program logo: Gulf Breeze Recovery offers a true non-12-Step, holistic drug treatment program with licensed mental health professionals who have small caseloads so that they can offer individualized and intensive care and it's called THRIVE®

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Sources:

Pollard, S. Michael, PhD; Tucker Joan S., PhD; Green, Harold D. PhD. “Changes in Adult Alcohol Use and Consequences During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US.” Sept. 29, 2020. JAMA Network Open. Retrieved at: www.jamanetwork.com

 Karlis, Nicole. “Is the pandemic making us drink more, or less? It’s complicated.” October 17, 2020. Raw Story. Retrieved at: www.rawstory.com

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