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1.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(7): 1248-1257, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973530

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in disruptions across many life domains. The distress associated with the pandemic itself, and with public health efforts to manage the outbreak, could result in increased alcohol use. This study aimed to quantify changes in alcohol use during the early stages of the pandemic and factors associated with different patterns of use. METHODS: Data were obtained from a longitudinal survey of a representative Australian adult sample (N = 1296, 50% female, Mage  = 46.0) conducted from March to June 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia. Change in alcohol consumption was examined using Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) scores from waves one, three, five, and seven of the study, each 4 weeks apart. Factors associated with alcohol consumption were examined, including depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7) symptoms, health risk tolerance, stress and coping, work and social impairment (WSAS), COVID impacts, and sociodemographic variables. We tested changes in alcohol use across the full sample using a mixed effects repeated measure ANOVA model and a multinomial logistic regression to identify factors assessed at wave 1 that were independently associated with alcohol use. RESULTS: There was no significant change in AUDIT-C scores across the study. For most participants, alcohol use did not increase during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. COVID-19 exposure, higher perceived coping, depression symptoms, and male gender were associated with greater odds of increasing or elevated levels of alcohol use. Social changes, which included working from home, had mixed effects on alcohol consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Although no evidence was found for increased alcohol use overall during the early months of the pandemic, several factors were associated with alcohol consumption at risky levels. Greater understanding of motivations for drinking across public and private contexts, along with targeted support for high-risk groups, could assist in reducing harm associated with alcohol consumption.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(8): e2224641, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1971178

ABSTRACT

Importance: Alcohol consumption (AC) leads to death and disability worldwide. Ongoing discussions on potential negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on AC need to be informed by real-world evidence. Objective: To examine whether lockdown measures are associated with AC and consumption-related temporal and psychological within-person mechanisms. Design, Setting, and Participants: This quantitative, intensive, longitudinal cohort study recruited 1743 participants from 3 sites from February 20, 2020, to February 28, 2021. Data were provided before and within the second lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany: before lockdown (October 2 to November 1, 2020); light lockdown (November 2 to December 15, 2020); and hard lockdown (December 16, 2020, to February 28, 2021). Main Outcomes and Measures: Daily ratings of AC (main outcome) captured during 3 lockdown phases (main variable) and temporal (weekends and holidays) and psychological (social isolation and drinking intention) correlates. Results: Of the 1743 screened participants, 189 (119 [63.0%] male; median [IQR] age, 37 [27.5-52.0] years) with at least 2 alcohol use disorder (AUD) criteria according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) yet without the need for medically supervised alcohol withdrawal were included. These individuals provided 14 694 smartphone ratings from October 2020 through February 2021. Multilevel modeling revealed significantly higher AC (grams of alcohol per day) on weekend days vs weekdays (ß = 11.39; 95% CI, 10.00-12.77; P < .001). Alcohol consumption was above the overall average on Christmas (ß = 26.82; 95% CI, 21.87-31.77; P < .001) and New Year's Eve (ß = 66.88; 95% CI, 59.22-74.54; P < .001). During the hard lockdown, perceived social isolation was significantly higher (ß = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.06-0.15; P < .001), but AC was significantly lower (ß = -5.45; 95% CI, -8.00 to -2.90; P = .001). Independent of lockdown, intention to drink less alcohol was associated with lower AC (ß = -11.10; 95% CI, -13.63 to -8.58; P < .001). Notably, differences in AC between weekend and weekdays decreased both during the hard lockdown (ß = -6.14; 95% CI, -9.96 to -2.31; P = .002) and in participants with severe AUD (ß = -6.26; 95% CI, -10.18 to -2.34; P = .002). Conclusions and Relevance: This 5-month cohort study found no immediate negative associations of lockdown measures with overall AC. Rather, weekend-weekday and holiday AC patterns exceeded lockdown effects. Differences in AC between weekend days and weekdays evinced that weekend drinking cycles decreased as a function of AUD severity and lockdown measures, indicating a potential mechanism of losing and regaining control. This finding suggests that temporal patterns and drinking intention constitute promising targets for prevention and intervention, even in high-risk individuals.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pandemics
3.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(6): 1094-1102, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956674

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: Investigations show that medications for alcohol use disorders (MAUD) reduce heavy drinking and relapses. However, only 1.6% of individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUD) receive MAUD across care settings. The epidemiology of MAUD prescribing in the acute care setting is incompletely described. We hypothesized that MAUD would be under prescribed in inpatient acute care hospital settings compared to the outpatient, emergency department (ED), and inpatient substance use treatment settings. METHODS: We evaluated electronic health record (EHR) data from adult patients with an International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) alcohol-related diagnosis in the University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) system between January 1, 2016 and 31 December, 2019. Data from patients with an ICD-10 diagnosis code for opioid use disorder and those receiving MAUD prior to their first alcohol-related episode were excluded. The primary outcome was prescribing of MAUD, defined by prescription of naltrexone, acamprosate, and/or disulfiram. We performed bivariate and multivariate analyses to identify independent predictors of MAUD prescribing at UCHealth. RESULTS: We identified 48,421 unique patients with 136,205 alcohol-related encounters at UCHealth. Encounters occurred in the ED (42%), inpatient acute care (17%), inpatient substance use treatment (18%), or outpatient primary care (12%) settings. Only 2270 (5%) patients received MAUD across all settings. Female sex and addiction medicine consults positively predicted MAUD prescribing. In contrast, encounters outside inpatient substance use treatment, Hispanic ethnicity, and black or non-white race were negative predictors of MAUD prescribing. Compared to inpatient substance use treatment, inpatient acute care hospitalizations for AUD was associated with a 93% reduced odds of receiving MAUD. CONCLUSIONS: AUD-related ED and inpatient acute care hospital encounters in our healthcare system were common. Nevertheless, prescriptions for MAUD were infrequent in this population, particularly in inpatient settings. Our findings suggest that the initiation of MAUD for patients with alcohol-related diagnoses in acute care settings deserves additional evaluation.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , Opioid-Related Disorders , Adult , Alcoholism/drug therapy , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Colorado/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Ethanol/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Naltrexone/therapeutic use
4.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1173, 2022 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951140

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to examine whether problem drinkers have had high risk-taking behaviors during the stay-at-home policy (e.g., dining out at a bar) under the COVID-19 emergency declaration. METHODS: We investigated data from Japan COVID-19 and Society Internet Survey(JACSIS)study-a web-based nationwide survey, conducted from August to September 2020. From a total of 12,076 current drinkers, problem drinkers were detected by Cut, Annoyed, Guilty, and Eye-opener (CAGE) questions. A CAGE score of 4 showed potential alcohol use disorder and scores of 2 to3 showed potential alcohol abuse; individuals with these scores were regarded as problem drinkers compared to light-or-no-risk drinkers, with a CAGE score of 0 to 1. The outcome assessed the presence of 18 behaviors against the stay-at-home policy, such as dining out at a bar, meeting people, or going to crowded places. All these behaviors were limited in Japan during the first declaration of emergency between April and May 2020. RESULTS: Based on the multivariable logistic regression, the participants with potential alcohol use disorder demonstrated 16 out of the 18 risk-taking behaviors, such as dining out at a bar (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 2.08; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.56-2.79), dining out at a restaurant (aOR: 1.79; 95% CI:1.37-2.35), visiting friends (aOR: 1.81; 95% CI: 1.34-2.44), going to karaoke (1.97; 95% CI: 1.26-3.10), and riding on a crowded train (aOR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.07-1.99), compared to light-or-no risk drinkers with a CAGE score of 0 to 1. Additionally, participants with potential alcohol abuse (CAGE score of 2 to 3) had 10 out of 18 behaviors against the stay-at-home policy: the corresponding aORs for the aforementioned behaviors were 1.45 (95% CI: 1.25-1.67), 1.27 (95% CI: 1.12-1.44), 1.17 (95% CI: 1.01-1.36), 1.49 (95% CI: 1.17-1.90), and 1.19 (95% CI: 1.03-1.38), respectively. Problem drinkers had a significant association with being men, a higher income and job position, smoking, sleep deprivation, depression, and other mental diseases. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, problem drinkers were more likely to have higher risk-taking behaviors against the stay-at-home policy, compared to light-or-no-risk drinkers.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Alcoholism/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Policy , Risk-Taking
5.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(6): 1050-1061, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909297

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/diagnosis , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
6.
Front Public Health ; 10: 876841, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903222

ABSTRACT

Aim: To provide estimates of the distribution of alcohol-related problems in a national sample of college and university students in 2021, i.e., during the COVID-19 pandemic, in comparison with pre-pandemic data from 2018. Design: Longitudinal data from linkage of two recent national health surveys from 2018 to 2021. Setting: Students in higher education in Norway (the SHoT-study). Participants: 8,287 fulltime students (72.5% women, 27.6% men) that were 18 years or more at the time of the first survey in 2018, and 21 years or more at the time of the second survey in 2021. Measurements: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to assess potential alcohol-related problems. Findings: 37.0% of male students and 24.1% of female students reported either risky, harmful, or dependent alcohol use in 2021, compared with 55.0% of male students and 43.6% of female students in 2018. This decrease in alcohol-related problems was most pronounced for dependent alcohol use, where we observed a 57% relative reduction among male students (from 3.5% in 2018 to 1.5% in 2021) and a 64% relative reduction among female students (from 1.4% in 2018 to 0.5% in 2021). Conclusions: The present study demonstrated a sharp decline in alcohol-related problems among students during the COVID-19 pandemic, that were present across gender, age groups, and geographical study locations. Universal preventive measures to limit students' alcohol use should be considered when restrictions related to the pandemic is lifted.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Students , Universities
7.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(6): 1073-1083, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901549

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital recovery support services (D-RSS) use technology to engage individuals seeking recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD). Given sparse data on use of these emergent services as well as longstanding and stark gender disparities in use of traditional alcohol treatment services, we sought to quantify lifetime and current D-RSS use and to test associations with several recovery outcomes, with particular attention to gender differences. METHODS: We analyzed data obtained in fall 2020 in a national survey of adults with a resolved alcohol problem (n = 1487). We estimated lifetime and current D-RSS use, prevalence of various types of D-RSS, and related outcomes (e.g., recovery stability, relapse events, quality of life). Stratified logistic regression models identified correlates of D-RSS use for women and men, controlling for demographic and AUD characteristics. RESULTS: Overall, an estimated 14.9% of the population of adults with a resolved alcohol problem reported lifetime use of D-RSS, with no difference by gender. Current use was lower and was reported by more men than women (9.9% vs. 5.8%, respectively). Men had higher odds of D-RSS use if they had <1 year of recovery (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 7.84), 1 to 5 years of recovery (aOR 2.17), and if never married (aOR 3.29). Among women, higher odds of D-RSS were associated with AUD symptom count (aOR 1.30), being unemployed (aOR 9.85), and having minor children in the household (aOR 3.58). Among women, there was no association between D-RSS use and recovery stability, relapse events, and quality of life. However, among men D-RSS use was associated with reporting that the COVID-19 pandemic had made it more difficult to resist alcohol or drugs and with lower self-reported quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: D-RSS are a promising technological approach to support recovery. There is room to increase their use, and gender-specific approaches may be needed given different correlates of use for women and men. In addition, further research is needed to explore whether D-RSS may confer benefits through similar mechanisms as in-person recovery services.


Subject(s)
Alcohol-Related Disorders , Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Adult , Alcohol-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Alcoholism/therapy , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Prevalence , Quality of Life , Recurrence , Sex Factors
8.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 9741, 2022 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890271

ABSTRACT

A methanol poisoning outbreak occurred in Iran during the initial months of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We aimed to evaluate the epidemiology of the outbreak in terms of hospitalizations and deaths. A cross-sectional linkage study was conducted based on the hospitalization data collected from thirteen referral toxicology centers throughout Iran as well as mortality data obtained from the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization (LMO). Patient data were extracted for all cases aged > 19 years with toxic alcohol poisoning during the study period from February until June 2020. A total of 795 patients were hospitalized due to methanol poisoning, of whom 84 died. Median [interquartile ratio; IQR] age was 32 [26, 40] years (range 19-91 years). Patients had generally ingested alcohol for recreational motives (653, 82.1%) while 3.1% (n = 25) had consumed alcohol-based hand sanitizers to prevent or cure COVID-19 infection. Age was significantly lower in survivors than in non-survivors (P < 0.001) and in patients without sequelae vs. with sequelae (P = 0.026). Twenty non-survivors presented with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score > 8, six of whom were completely alert on presentation to the emergency departments. The time from alcohol ingestion to hospital admission was not significantly different between provinces. In East Azerbaijan province, where hemodialysis was started within on average 60 min of admission, the rate of sequelae was 11.4% (compared to 19.6% average of other provinces)-equivalent to a reduction of the odds of sequelae by 2.1 times [95% CI 1.2, 3.7; p = 0.009]. Older patients were more prone to fatal outcome and sequelae, including visual disturbances. Early arrival at the hospital can facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment and may reduce long-term morbidity from methanol poisoning. Our data thus suggest the importance of raising public awareness of the risks and early symptoms of methanol intoxication.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Poisoning , Adult , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Iran/epidemiology , Methanol , Pandemics
9.
Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci ; 31: e43, 2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890080

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and ensuing restrictions have negatively affected the mental health and well-being of the general population, and there is increasing evidence suggesting that lockdowns have led to a disruption of health services. In March 2020, South Africa introduced a lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, entailing the suspension of all non-essential activities and a complete ban of tobacco and alcohol sales. We studied the effect of the lockdown on mental health care utilisation rates in private-sector care in South Africa. METHODS: We conducted an interrupted time-series analysis using insurance claims from 1 January 2017 to 1 June 2020 of beneficiaries 18 years or older from a large private sector medical insurance scheme. We calculated weekly outpatient consultation and hospital admission rates for organic mental disorders, substance use disorders, serious mental disorders, depression, anxiety, other mental disorders, any mental disorder and alcohol withdrawal syndrome. We calculated adjusted odds ratios (OR) for the effect of the lockdown on weekly outpatient consultation and hospital admission rates and the weekly change in rates during the lockdown until 1 June 2020. RESULTS: 710 367 persons were followed up for a median of 153 weeks. Hospital admission rates (OR 0.38; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33-0.44) and outpatient consultation rates (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.63-0.87) for any mental disorder decreased substantially after the introduction of the lockdown and did not recover to pre-lockdown levels by 1 June 2020. Health care utilisation rates for alcohol withdrawal syndrome doubled after the introduction of the lockdown, but the statistical uncertainty around the estimates was large (OR 2.24; 95% CI 0.69-7.24). CONCLUSIONS: Mental health care utilisation rates for inpatient and outpatient services decreased substantially after the introduction of the lockdown. Hospital admissions and outpatient consultations for alcohol withdrawal syndrome increased after the introduction of the lockdown, but statistical uncertainty precludes strong conclusions about a potential unintended effect of the alcohol sales ban. Governments should integrate strategies for ensuring access and continuity of essential mental health services during lockdowns in pandemic preparedness planning.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , South Africa/epidemiology , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/epidemiology
11.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(6): 1023-1035, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794779

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected every country globally, with hundreds of millions of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and over 6 million deaths to date. It is unknown how alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects the severity and mortality of COVID-19. AUD is known to increase the severity and mortality of bacterial pneumonia and the risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome. Our objective is to determine whether individuals with AUD have increased severity and mortality from COVID-19. METHODS: We utilized a retrospective cohort study of inpatients and outpatients from 44 centers participating in the National COVID Cohort Collaborative. All were adult COVID-19 patients with and without documented AUDs. RESULTS: We identified 25,583 COVID-19 patients with an AUD and 1,309,445 without. In unadjusted comparisons, those with AUD had higher odds of hospitalization (odds ratio [OR] 2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.94 to 2.06, p < 0.001). After adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, body mass index, and comorbidities, individuals with an AUD still had higher odds of requiring hospitalization (adjusted OR [aOR] 1.51, CI 1.46 to 1.56, p < 0.001). In unadjusted comparisons, individuals with AUD had higher odds of all-cause mortality (OR 2.18, CI 2.05 to 2.31, p < 0.001). After adjustment as above, individuals with an AUD still had higher odds of all-cause mortality (aOR 1.55, CI 1.46 to 1.65, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: This work suggests that AUD can increase the severity and mortality of COVID-19 infection. This reinforces the need for clinicians to obtain an accurate alcohol history from patients hospitalized with COVID-19. For this study, our results are limited by an inability to quantify the daily drinking habits of the participants. Studies are needed to determine the mechanisms by which AUD increases the severity and mortality of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Adult , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
12.
J Glob Health ; 12: 05002, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771700

ABSTRACT

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase of heavy alcohol use has been reported in several high-income countries. We examined changes in alcohol use during the pandemic among primary health care (PHC) patients in two middle income countries, Colombia and Mexico. Methods: Data were collected during routine consultations in 34 PHC centres as part of a large-scale implementation study. Providers measured patients' alcohol consumption with the three item 'Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test' (AUDIT-C). Generalized linear mixed models were performed to examine changes in two dependent variables over time (pre-pandemic and during pandemic): 1) the AUDIT-C score and 2) the proportion of heavy drinking patients (8+ on AUDIT-C). Results: Over a period of more than 600 days, data from N = 17 273 patients were collected. During the pandemic, the number of patients with their alcohol consumption measured decreased in Colombia and Mexico. Each month into the pandemic was associated with a 1.5% and 1.9% reduction in the mean AUDIT-C score in Colombia and Mexico, respectively. The proportion of heavy drinking patients declined during the pandemic in Colombia (pre-pandemic: 5.4%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.8% to 6.0%; during the pandemic: 0.8%, 95% CI = 0.6% to 1.1%) but did not change in Mexico. Conclusions: Average consumption levels declined and the prevalence of heavy drinking patterns did not increase. In addition to reduced opportunities for social drinking during the pandemic, changes in the population seeking PHC and restrictions in alcohol availability and affordability are likely drivers for lower levels of alcohol use by patients in this study.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colombia/epidemiology , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Pandemics , Primary Health Care
13.
Acta Biomed ; 93(1): e2022081, 2022 03 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1754155

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: The destructive impact of the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on those struggling with substance use disorders (SUD) stems from the daunting challenges which SUD patients experience in terms of coping with their condition and receiving care in a timely fashion. METHODS: Patients struggling with addiction are at particularly high risk, due to the underlying vulnerabilities in their conditions and the stigmatization they often suffer. New Psychoactive Substances stand out as a critical area of concern. The authors have conducted a broad-ranging search to assess the impact of SUDs, along with their related mental, physical, and behavioral symptoms, against the backdrop of the COVID-19, taking into account how drug trafficking and consumption trends have evolved as the emergency draws out, and the cyberspace comes to play an ever-bigger role. RESULTS: Given that roughly 1.5%-5% of the global burden of disease can be ascribed to alcohol abuse and substance addiction, the role of pandemic-related potential contributing factors in the exacerbation and relapse of SUDs and behavioral addiction cannot be discounted and needs targeted measures tailored to the special needs of SUD patients. Escalating environmental stressors stemming from abnormal circumstances can undermine recovery efforts and threaten the very survival of countless SUD patients, increasing the likelihood of relapsing for those in recovery. CONCLUSIONS: Policymakers and legislators have not yet put in place targeted measures and adjustments in the health care delivery mechanisms in order to countervail the pandemic impact on SUD sufferers, and the ever-evolving patterns of use and trafficking.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Alcoholism/complications , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Recurrence , Substance-Related Disorders/complications , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
14.
Psychiatry Res ; 311: 114521, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747629

ABSTRACT

People with Substance or Alcohol Use Disorders (SUDs/AUDs) are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection than the general population. We performed a cross-sectional study to compare the hospitalization rate (CHR) for COVID-19 in 2020 in patients diagnosed with SUDs or AUDs in the previous 10 years vs the population without these disorders (NAS). We included individuals who were resident in the Metropolitan Area of Bologna (Northern Italy). People with SUDs or AUDs have a greater probability of being hospitalized for COVID-19 infection compared to the general population NAS, suggesting that they suffer from worse physical symptoms/conditions than the general population. Furthermore, we found higher mortality rates during hospitalization for COVID-19 in patients with AUDs or SUDs than the general population NAS. These findings highlight the importance of a careful monitoring and early intervention measures in these patients.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Substance-Related Disorders/diagnosis , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
15.
J Prev Med Hyg ; 62(4): E859-E863, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701533

ABSTRACT

SUD is a widespread non-communicable disease (NCD) with biological, social, or psychological foundations which policymakers have given less attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. People with alcohol dependence went into withdrawal as a result of the lockdown and acute lack of alcohol availability, which led to black marketing and, in extreme cases, suicide. On the other hand, De-addiction services in India were not adequately equipped for the SUD pandemic, and as a result, most services could not cope with lockdown problems. To generate revenue and to get out of this Catch-22 situation, the Government opened liquor shops and sold alcohol while people purchased it as usual because of excess stress, lack of social contact, loneliness and boredom. We recommend that during COVID-19 pandemic, national, state, and local governments, as along with organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, develop and support networks to address the needs of patients with SUD.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(4)2022 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690262

ABSTRACT

The present study investigates the extent to which the COVID-19 crisis disturbed different life domains of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and assessed the associations between these disturbances and the risk of short-term alcohol drinking. All patients aged >18 years receiving outpatient care at three addiction treatment facilities from 15 April to 30 May 2021 were eligible for inclusion in the study. A trained resident assessed the extent to which the COVID-19 crisis affected their professional activity, social life, access to healthcare, and drinking problems, together with craving, drinking behavior, psychological distress, physical/mental health, and sociodemographic and clinical data. The same investigator assessed alcohol drinking 1 month after their visit. Nearly half of the patients felt that the COVID-19 crisis had a serious impact on their drinking problems, despite minor disruptions in access to healthcare. These disturbances significantly influenced short-term alcohol drinking in univariate analysis, together with psychological distress, craving, and drinking problems. Only craving predicted alcohol drinking in multivariate analyses, suggesting that psychological and drinking problems, as well as COVID-19 disturbances, increased the risk of alcohol drinking by increasing craving. Craving should be systematically investigated in patients with AUD to establish adapted social support systems during pandemics.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Alcoholism/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Craving , Humans , Outpatients , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Am J Public Health ; 111(9): 1610-1619, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666846

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To describe disparities in depression, anxiety, and problem drinking by sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and gender identity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods. Data were collected May 21 to July 15, 2020, from 3245 adults living in 5 major US metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; and Los Angeles, California). Participants were characterized as cisgender straight or LGBTQ+ (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and men who have sex with men, and women who have sex with women not identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender). Results. Cisgender straight participants had the lowest levels of depression, anxiety, and problem drinking compared with all other sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and gender identity groups, and, in general, LGBTQ+ participants were more likely to report that these health problems were "more than usual" during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions. LGBTQ+ communities experienced worse mental health and problem drinking than their cisgender straight counterparts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research should assess the impact of the pandemic on health inequities. Policymakers should consider resources to support LGBTQ+ mental health and substance use prevention in COVID-19 recovery efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Anxiety/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United States , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(3)2022 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648281

ABSTRACT

The disruption in healthcare attention to people with alcohol dependence, along with psychological decompensation as a consequence of lockdown derived from the COVID-19 pandemic could have a negative impact on people who suffer from alcohol abuse disorder. Observational real world data pre-post study included 9966 men aged >16 years registered as having the diagnosis of alcohol abuse disorder in the electronic medical records (EMR) of the Aragon Regional Health Service (Spain). Clinical (Glutamate-oxaloacetate -GOT-, Glutamate pyruvate -GPT-, creatinine, glomerular filtration, systolic blood pressure -SBP-, diastolic blood pressure -DBP-, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and body mass index -BMI-), pharmacological (dose per inhabitant per day, DHD, of drugs used in addictive disorders, benzodiazepines and antidepressants) and health resource use variables (primary and specialized care) were considered. A Student's t-test for matched samples was performed to analyze the changes in clinical variables between alcohol abuse disorder patients with and without COVID-19. Only creatinine and LDL showed a significant but clinically irrelevant change six months after the end of the strict lockdown. The total number of DHDs for all drugs included in the study (except for benzodiazepines), decreased. In the same way, the use of health services by these patients also decreased. The impact of COVID-19 among this group of patients has been moderate. The reorganization of health and social services after the declaration of the state of alarm in our country made possible the maintenance of care for this vulnerable population.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Adolescent , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Health Resources , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597023

ABSTRACT

The sleep-wake cycle plays a fundamental role in maintaining the physiological balance of our body. Its alteration favours the genesis of several organic alterations and diseases including sleep disorders and the consumption of several substances of abuse. It has been reported that the work activity, especially that carried out during the night, is able to influence the sleep-wake cycle, promoting the development of insomnia, which, in turn, would subject the worker to a stressful condition such as to encourage adverse behaviour such as the use/abuse of psychotropic substances. Based on the above premises, the aim of our research was to evaluate, in night workers: (i) the pattern of consumption of alcoholic beverages; (ii) the presence of insomnia; and (iii) the possible correlation between alcohol consumption and insomnia disorder. We used the AUDIT-C test (the abbreviated version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) and the Insomnia Severity Index to assess alcohol consumption and insomnia disorder, respectively. All questionnaires were completed by workers of both sexes belonging to different types of work activities, exclusively day or night. The results of our research show a higher propensity of night workers to consume alcoholic beverages than those who work during daytime hours, often in binge-drinking mode. In addition, an increase in the amount of alcohol consumed was found to be related to insomnia disorder, especially in night workers. This study provides further awareness of the importance of the negative impact of alcohol consumption on sleep quality in night workers.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Sleep , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/etiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
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