Research Finds Coronavirus Had A Bigger Impact On Women’s Drinking And Experts Aren’t Surprised

To say that this year has gone a little differently than we might have expected is an understatement.

With the coronavirus shutdown putting hundreds and thousands out of work, the struggle of home-schooling, and the threat of a scary new disease looming, many of us felt powerless and overwhelmed.

And new research suggests that, for some of us, this stress changed our relationship with alcohol.

The Australian National University (ANU) survey found almost 20 per cent of people drank more under lockdown than they usually did.

Almost one third of those people said they started drinking three to four more drinks per week and 26.4 per cent said they had upped their intake by more than five drinks per week. And it’s known that people generally under-report their drinking.

The researchers noted, women who had extra care-giving duties under lockdown reported drinking more heavily.

“Additional stress was on females who maintained their paid work hours, but on top on that increased their unpaid work,” lead researcher Nicholas Biddle said.

“Whereas for males it was in some ways the opposite, it was males who had more time on their hands for whom alcohol consumption has gone up.”

The Australian guidelines on drinking recommend healthy adults consume no more than 10 standard drinks per week, but there is no known safe level of drinking or known health benefits from alcohol.

Today’s ANU survey, based on responses of more than 3,000 people from all states and territories, compared respondents drinking habits in May to the previous two years.

So let’s look at who was drinking more in lockdown and why.