There’s a lot of drinking going on during COVID-19, and new research points to major health concerns with what doctors are calling pandemic stress drinking.
Takeout, home deliveries, and curbside pickup of beer, wine, liquors and other alcoholic products have increased significantly, from 40 to 50 percent according to different sources.
We talked to a faculty researcher with UNT’s Health Science Center who studies drinking patterns and develops alcohol preventions and interventions. Dr. Dana Litt says people are drinking more than normal, and what’s concerning is that we’re not likely to see those numbers go down anytime soon.
The public health impacts are of great concern, especially for women.
“And although that wasn’t entirely surprising either given that there is other research that shows that woman generally drink to cope more than men, you know the fact that women are doing so in response to a very specific stressor, I think is of particular concern,” said Dr. Dana M. Litt, University of North Texas, Health Science Center Associate Professor.
Dr. Litt is part of a team of researchers examining the ways that COVID’s psychological stresses are impacting drinking behavior among men and women, ages 18 and older. She says as the pandemic continues to evolve, it’s crucial to include and work on COVID-19-related stress as a health concern. That also requires resources and solutions.
Habits that are formed right now could have far-reaching consequences for the future.