WMJ Vol 119: Changes in Alcohol Use Patterns in the United States During COVID-19 Pandemic

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has rapidly emerged as a public health emergency. In the United States, “stay-at-home” orders have led to loss of social routines and the closing of restaurants and bars; as a result, sales of alcohol have increased. The aim of this study was to assess changes in alcohol use patterns as a result of social distancing measures.

Methods: A single online survey was sent to a convenience sample of adults through social media. Self-reported demographics and alcohol use patterns before and during social distancing were obtained.

Results: Four hundred seventeen subjects completed the survey; 83% were women, 77% were married, 44% were between ages 35 and 44 years. Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) scores increased from median value of 3 to 4 (P < 0.0001); the increase was statistically significant only in women (P <0.0001). Fewer people use alcohol during social distancing; however, in those who use alcohol, the frequency and quantity ingested increased, as well as the frequency of alcohol use prior to 5 pm. Despite these increases, there was an overall reduction in binge drinking pattern. Multivariate analysis identified women, having children at home, and a history of substance abuse to be associated with increase in alcohol use.

Conclusion: Among those who continue to drink alcohol, social distancing has led to a significant increase in the amount of alcohol ingested, frequency of alcohol use, and an increase in AUDIT-C scores in women suggesting hazardous alcohol use behaviors. Clinicians should continue to assess patient alcohol use during the pandemic. Further studies will be needed to assess long-term outcomes after the COVID-19 pandemic resolves.

Target Audience

The target audience for this journal-based activity is healthcare providers caring for the people and communities of Wisconsin and beyond.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this journal-based activity, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the data collected using AUDIT-C to identify those at risk for alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Describe the unique factors to the COVID-19 pandemic that may lead to higher risk for alcohol misuse among women.
  3. Differentiate harmful drinking in women and men and recognize that >2 drinks per day may be harmful for women.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC Contact Hours
  • 1.00 University of Wisconsin–Madison Continuing Education Hours
    • 1.00 Approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
Registration opens: 
11/02/2020
Course expires: 
11/01/2021
Cost:
$0.00
Rating: 
0

FACULTY DISCLOSURE

It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP that the faculty, authors, planners, and other persons who may influence content of this CE activity disclose all relevant financial relationships with commercial interests* in order to allow CE staff to identify and resolve any potential conflicts of interest. Faculty must also disclose any planned discussions of unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices during the educational activity. For this educational activity all conflicts of interests have been resolved and detailed disclosures are listed below:

Name of IndividualIndividual's Role in Activity

Name of Commercial Interest &
Nature of Relationship

Discussion of
Unlabeled/Unapproved
Uses of Drugs/Devices
in Presentation?

Elizabeth Bade, MDReviewerNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo
Terese Bailey, BSAccreditation SpecialistNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo
Nicole Boschuetz, MDAuthorNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo
Shanna Cheng, MDAuthorNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo
David Dwyer, PhD, RN, NE-BCReviewerUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison (Employment); Eskenazi Health
(Spouse/Partner: Employment); Mayo Clinic (Spouse/Partner: Employment);
Indiana University (Spouse/Partner: Grant)
No
Veronica Loy, MDAuthorNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo
Ling Mei, MDAuthorNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo
Roberta Pawlak, PhD, RN, NEA-BCReviewerNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo
Alexander Scharko, MDEditorWisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Services (Contractor)No
Robert Treat, PhDReviewerNo Relevant Financial Relationships to DiscloseNo

* The ACCME defines a commercial interest as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests.

Discloser List CME Internal Report

Accreditation

Accreditation Statement

Jointly Accredited Provider LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP and the Wisconsin Medical Journal.  The University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Credit Designation Statements

American Medical Association (AMA)

The University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP designates this journal-based CE activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

The University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP designates this journal-based CE activity for a maximum of 1.0 ANCC contact hour.  

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing is Iowa Board of Nursing provider 350. Iowa Board of Nursing accepts ANCC contact hours for nursing continuing education requirements.

Continuing Education Units

The University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP, as a member of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), authorizes this program for 0.1 continuing education units (CEUs) or 1 hour.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC Contact Hours
  • 1.00 University of Wisconsin–Madison Continuing Education Hours
    • 1.00 Approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

Price

Cost:
$0.00
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