NATIONWIDE – A new survey shows Americans are drinking more alcohol during the pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Looked at drinking habits of Americans

  • Compared results to survey from 2019

  • Found how often women are drinking is also up

According to the report by the JAMA Network Open journal, which looked at drinking habits of adults ages 30 to 59, participants reported drinking 14 percent more frequently compared to last year.

The report used data collected through the RAND Corporation American Life Panel, a national survey that collects data from 6,000 Americans on varying topics.

For the alcohol survey, 1,540 participants answered questions about their alcohol consumption in 2019, and were asked again between March and June of 2020.

They were asked about the number of days they drink alcohol, whether they drank heavily, and the average number of drinks they’d had in the 30 days prior to the survey. Researchers defined heavy drinking as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within a couple of hours.

While how frequently people reported drinking was up across the demographics measured, women seemed to report higher increases than average. While the number of days people drink was up by 14 percent, women reported a 17 percent increase compared to last year.

Additionally, one in four of the women surveyed were found to drink an additional day per month.

“These data provide evidence of changes in alcohol use and associated consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to a range of negative physical health associations, excessive alcohol use may lead to or worsen existing mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, which may themselves be increasing during COVID-19,” the report reads.

Researchers say though there are some limitations to the survey since it asked participants to self-report their drinking habits.