Are People Drinking More During the Pandemic?

Agency Announces Second Study into Pandemic Drinking Habits


As reported by Nextgov, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has announced a second study into the drinking habits of Americans during the pandemic. A previous study showed that Americans were drinking more during the health crisis. 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health, has given a contract to Research Triangle Institute International to determine if the increase in drinking was a trend that continued throughout the pandemic.

The Research Triangle Institute International previously conducted a study of drinking behaviors in May. This follow-up study is being conducted to determine if alcohol consumption among Americans has changed. 

As indicating in Nextgov’s reporting some of the factors present during the pandemic which may lead to an increase in alcohol consumption include:

  • “Income and employment
  • Stress
  • Opportunities for socializing, and
  • Availability of alcohol”

This second study should show more clearly whether there was a definitive trend indicating a rise in alcohol consumption and to help draw conclusions about the drinking behaviors of particular populations.

Many specialists fear that the increase in alcohol use during the pandemic has not been matched by an increase in people seeking treatment. People at risk for alcohol use disorder may not be getting the help they need despite developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. 

More information is needed to determine patterns in drinking patterns and how to help those in need. In addition to studies regarding an increase in alcohol consumption, other agencies have sought to determine whether there has been an increase in drug use during the pandemic. Some worry that in addition to a health and economic crisis, America could be facing a third crisis.