Alcohol dependence during COVID-19 lockdowns

Psychiatry Res. 2021 Feb;296:113676. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113676. Epub 2020 Dec 25.


To determine whether the past half-year of COVID-19-related lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and social isolation were associated with changes in high-risk alcohol use, a total of 5,931 individuals completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) at one of six time points from April through September 2020. Over the 6-month period, hazardous alcohol use and likely dependence increased month-by-month for those under lockdowns compared to those not under restrictions. This increase in harmful alcohol use and related behaviors is likely to have prolonged adverse psychosocial, interpersonal, occupational, and health impacts as the world attempts to recover from the pandemic crisis.

Keywords: Alcohol dependence; COVID-19; Lockdowns.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Social Isolation* / psychology
  • Social Responsibility