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Drug Alcohol Rev ; 2021 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443252


INTRODUCTION: 'Drinking occasions' are commonly used to capture quantities of alcohol consumed. Yet this standardised terminology brings with it numerous assumptions and epistemological limitations. We suggest that social changes brought on by COVID-19 restrictions have influenced routines, patterns of time use and drinking practices, highlighting the need to re-examine how we conceptualise drinking and 'drinking occasions' in alcohol research. METHODS: This analysis draws on data gathered from 59 qualitative interviews conducted during the second half of 2020 with Australian drinkers aged 18 and over. The interviews explored how COVID-19 restrictions impacted daily practices and alcohol consumption patterns. FINDINGS: Participants spoke about their work, study and social routines changing, which influenced the times, timing and contexts of their drinking practices. We separated these shifts into four overarching themes: shifting of structures shaping drinking; the permeability of drinking boundaries; the extension of drinking occasions; and new contexts for drinking. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: COVID-19 restrictions have led to shifts in the temporal boundaries and contexts that would otherwise shape people's drinking, meaning drinking practices may be less bound by structures, norms, settings and rituals. The drinking occasions concept, although a simple tool for measuring how much people drink, has not been able to capture these complex developments. This is a timely consideration given that COVID-19 may have enduring effects on people's lifestyles, work and drinking practices. It may be useful to examine drinking as practice, rather than just an occasion, in order to better contextualise epidemiological studies going forward.

Lancet Public Health ; 6(8): e535-e536, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1251631
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 41(1): 24-26, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169785


Even as women's roles have expanded substantially beyond traditional sex stereotypes, women are still commonly portrayed as uncomplaining caregivers, long-suffering intimate partners and in control of family matters, all while maintaining a sexualised femininity. Nowhere are these stereotypes and expectations more apparent than for mothers. However, some social media are exploiting mothers by inappropriately offering alcohol consumption as a solution to the challenges of parenting. This is a very timely topic, given the impacts of COVID-19 on family and home life, and potential for an increase in alcohol-related problems and health harms. We address these issues and offer alternatives to alcohol consumption as an easy solution to countering challenges of parenthood.

COVID-19 , Mummies , Alcohol Drinking , Female , Humans , Marketing , Mothers , Parenting , SARS-CoV-2
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 40(2): 183-191, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066655


INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Restrictions introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have had major impacts on the living circumstances of Australians. This paper aims to provide insight into shifts in alcohol consumption and associated factors during the epidemic. DESIGN AND METHODS: A cross-sectional convenience sample of 2307 Australians aged 18 and over who drank at least monthly was recruited through social media. Respondents were asked about their alcohol consumption and purchasing in 2019 prior to the epidemic plus similar questions about their experiences in the month prior to being surveyed between 29 April and 16 May 2020. RESULTS: Reports of average consumption before (3.53 drinks per day [3.36, 3.71 95% confidence interval]) and during (3.52 [3.34, 3.69]) the pandemic were stable. However, young men and those who drank more outside the home in 2019 reported decreased consumption during the pandemic, and people with high levels of stress and those who bulk-bought alcohol when restrictions were announced reported an increase in consumption relative to those who did not. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: A reported increase in consumption among those experiencing more stress suggests that some people may have been drinking to cope during the epidemic. Conversely, the reported decrease in consumption among those who drank more outside of their home in 2019 suggests that closing all on-trade sales did not result in complete substitution of on-premise drinking with home drinking in this group. Monitoring of relevant subgroups to assess long-term changes in consumption in the aftermath of the epidemic is recommended.

Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholic Beverages/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Commerce/statistics & numerical data , Income/statistics & numerical data , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Adult , Alcoholic Beverages/legislation & jurisprudence , Australia/epidemiology , Child , Child Care/statistics & numerical data , Commerce/legislation & jurisprudence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Teleworking/statistics & numerical data , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data