Alcohol Consumptions Spikes During Pandemic

We might not be drinking more overall during the pandemic, but there’s one group of Australians whose habits are troubling: Women.

The effects of the global pandemic – job losses and insecurity, home schooling and all the stress that comes with a life-altering event, have manifested in higher alcohol consumption rates among women.

Nicole Lee, Professor at the National Drug Research Institute said while overall, the alcohol habits of Australians have remained fairly steady, it was a different story for women.

Women’s drinking has increased substantially, Dr Lee said.

“There’s a number of studies that have linked that to additional home duties – trying to juggle working from home with homeschooling, and typically those kinds of activities fall to women in the family and now there’s extra pressure,” Dr Lee said.

“It does look like women are much more affected, and then also their mental health is being affected by that as well.”

A similar trend was noted by a team from La Trobe University, in a paper published on Tuesday.

“Recent polls suggest increased psychological distress among parents, particularly mothers, who are more likely to bear the burden of
multiple roles as workers, parents and teacher’s aides – which may translate to increases in consumption.”

Dr Lee, who is also on the board of Hello Sunday Morning, said there were plenty of online resources that would enable people to access them at their own pace and in the privacy of their homes.

She said not everyone would find themselves in the situation where they needed to access drug and alcohol support – they might have just found themselves drinking more than usual, and need support pulling that back to a level they’re happier with.

If you or someone you know needs help with their drinking, try these resources:

  • Counselling Online: A free online service, available 24/7
  • National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline: A free phone service – call 1800 250 015
  • Hello Sunday Morning: A not-for-profit for people who want to change their relationship with alcohol.

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