A group of British researchers found that purchasing patterns of alcohol products increased among households of lower socioeconomic status during COVID-19 lockdowns.
As highlighted in PLOS One, researchers from Newcastle University assessed the alcohol purchasing data of nearly 80,000 British households from 2015 up until 2020.
The study involved the assessment of approximately 5 million alcohol purchases.
“Excess purchases increased substantially as the amount of alcohol normally purchased by a household increased, with the top one fifth of households that normally bought the most alcohol increasing their purchases more than 17 times than the bottom one fifth of households that bought the least alcohol,” the authors of the study affirmed in their report.
“That the heaviest buyers of alcohol increased their purchases the most, with some independent impact of socio-economic disadvantage, might explain why reported alcohol problems and recent alcohol-related death rates might have increased.”
Despite the findings, alcohol policy aimed at reducing problematic alcohol use, as well as treatment interventions for alcohol abuse, were of more focus than ever, as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns.