Changes in Alcohol Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact of the Lockdown Conditions and Mental Health Factors.Int J Ment Health Addict. 2021 Jan 04 [Online ahead of print]IJ
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to governments taking a number of restrictive measures. Confinement at home during the COVID-19 crisis could have major implications on mental health and alcohol use behaviors among the whole population. The present study focuses on the role of individual characteristics, contextual factors, and mental health variables on alcohol consumption. A sample of 2871 adults (79% women) were recruited from the general population through an online self-report questionnaire. Sociodemographic data, lockdown conditions, occupational/physical activity, proximity of contamination, mental health (anxiety, depression, and intolerance of uncertainty), and alcohol consumption (frequency, quantity, and changes) have been assessed. Among participants, 49.1% of the population reported stable alcohol consumption, 24.5% reported a decreased in alcohol consumption since the beginning of the lockdown and 26.4% reported an increase in consumption. Our findings indicate that those individuals who increased their alcohol consumption during the lockdown are often older, working from home, more likely to have children, higher educated, and consume alcohol more frequently and in higher quantities. They also have a greater proximity to contamination and higher levels of anxiety and depression. Our results are discussed in terms of preventive implications.