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Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(6): 1050-1061, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909297


BACKGROUND: Surveys of changes in drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic have primarily relied on retrospective self-report. Further, most such surveys have not included detailed measures of alcohol use patterns, such as beverage-specific consumption, nor measures of alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms that would allow a comprehensive understanding of changes in alcohol use. METHODS: Data from 1819 completed interviews from the N14C follow-up survey to the 2019 to 2020 National Alcohol Survey (N14) were conducted between January 30 and March 28, 2021. Questions on alcohol use from the Graduated Frequency series, beverage-specific quantity and frequency, and DSM-5 AUD items were asked in both surveys and used to estimate changes from pre-pandemic drinking to drinking during the pandemic. Analyses focus on changes in these measures over time and comparisons between key subgroups defined by gender, race/ethnicity, and age. RESULTS: Key findings include particularly large increases in drinking and AUD for African Americans and women, reduced drinking and heavy drinking prevalence among men and White respondents, and a concentration of increased drinking and AUD among respondents aged 35 to 49. Increases in alcohol use were found to be driven particularly by increases in drinking frequency and the consumption of spirits. CONCLUSIONS: Results confirm prior findings of overall increases and subgroup-specific changes, and importantly, provide detailed information on the patterns of change across major socio-demographic subgroups. Substantial increases in the prevalence of DSM-5 moderate to severe AUDs are a novel finding that is of particular concern.

Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/diagnosis , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
Addict Behav ; 128: 107247, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635213


BACKGROUND: Studies show drinking to cope and mental health problems have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, their samples have been limited by convenience sampling or lack of a pre-pandemic measure. We examined the early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, drinking to cope and their association using a probability-based sample of the US adult population. METHODS: Data was drawn from the probability samples of the 2019-2020 National Alcohol Survey (N = 7,233) to examine differences in drinking to cope and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Analyses compared participants who responded to the survey just prior to the widespread onset of the pandemic to those who responded after March 2020, in the total sample and by sex. RESULTS: Respondents in the early- vs. pre-COVID-19 period had a 1.48 higher odds (p = 0.03) of higher agreement with drinking to forget one's worries and problems, with a significant association observed among women only. Respondents with symptoms of depression and anxiety had a 2.94 and 1.56 higher odds, respectively, of higher agreement with drinking to forget one's worries. We observed significant associations between early- vs. pre-COVID-19 period, depression and anxiety symptoms, and drinking to forget one's worries among women only; however, moderation by sex in the total sample was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: We observed higher prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms and greater drinking to forget worries in the early months of COVID restrictions relative to the period just prior, with some effects more prominent among women. These observations call for sustained monitoring of and support for the mental health of the general population, and of women in particular during the course of the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Mental Health , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs ; 81(5):687-688, 2020.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1485560


Comments on article by M. G. Monteiro et al. (see record 2020-61236-001). Monteiro and colleagues (2020) wrote that we might see increases in alcohol-related morbidity and mortality because of the economic decline related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also noted that there could be increases in alcohol-attributable suicides. The current authors wish to point out that there might be policy-relevant linkages among these phenomena. Several studies reviewed and suggest that suicide is frequently associated with acute alcohol consumption. Acute alcohol use might be one of the mechanisms underlying the complex connections between unemployment and suicide. Importantly, the current authors' research shows that alcohol ingestion itself might be a key risk factor for suicide during and shortly after economic contractions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)