COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research
Alcohol Consumption and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Synthesizing Knowledge for Policy Action
- As compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, 23.3% of respondents reported drinking more alcohol compared to before the pandemic (4.8% drank much more and 18.5% drank slightly more), 11.8% reported drinking less alcohol (6.1% drank much less and 5.7% drank slightly less), and 65% reported no change in alcohol use.
- Analyses indicated that changes in alcohol use were associated with age, household income, a person’s living situation, anxiety, and feeling lonely or depressed.
- The observed shifting of alcohol consumption may have impacts on health which could be offset by implementing alcohol policies.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have increased their alcohol consumption in Canada than have decreased their alcohol consumption.
- As identified in previous systematic reviews, those cost-effective interventions which are aimed at reducing alcohol-related harms include increases in price or taxation, decreases in availability, and restrictions on marketing. Additional interventions include brief interventions for people with alcohol use disorders.
- The effects of the current pandemic and associated social distancing policies on unrecorded alcohol consumption (i.e., alcohol which is not tracked by any level of government) are unknown; however, where increases in methanol poisonings have been observed, managed alcohol programs at homeless shelters may be an effective method of harms reduction.
- Further analyses and syntheses of the identified academic and grey literature will be conducted, and this lay summary section will be updated accordingly on a monthly basis.
- Heavy Episodic Drinking
- Financial crisis
- Social isolation
- Systematic review
- Nominated Principal Applicant: Dr. Kevin D Shield, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Matthew Young, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
- Branka Agic, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Samantha Wells, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Jürgen Rehm, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Shehzad Ali, Western University
- Adam Sherk, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research
- Tim Stockwell, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research
For more information, please contact: Dr. Kevin D Shield, Kevin.Shield@CAMH.ca
- The Relationship Between Social Connectedness and Mental Health for Residents of Long-term Care Homes: Knowledge Synthesis and Mobilization
- The GID-COVID Project: Gender and Intervention in Addiction with Individuals in Situations of Social Precarity in the Context of a Pandemic
- What is the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the mental health of children aged 5–12, and what are the specific issues faced by children with a disability or chronic illness? A scoping review of problems experienced and promising avenues for intervention
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