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UofG study finds an increase in solitary drinking after Covid-19 lockdown measures

By Helena Geddes

The leader of the study says the topic of home drinking is one that needs to be monitored as we move out of the pandemic. 

Lockdown restrictions throughout 2020 contributed towards a rise in more people in both Scotland and England drinking at home, according to a recent University of Glasgow study.

The research, done in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, examined the impact of Covid-19 lockdown measures on alcohol consumption, collecting data from almost 300,000 English and Scottish drinkers.

The study concluded that whilst people were consuming roughly the same amount of alcohol as they did before Covid-19, there was a shift in habits that led to more drinking at home in the evening.

The study also found that there was an increase in lone drinking amongst Scottish participants, however this could be attributed to the fact that more people live alone in Scotland than in England.

Dr Iain Hardie, of the University of Glasgow and leading author of the study, said: “Going forward it remains unclear what the long-term consequences will be of the changes in alcohol consumption in 2020.

“However, the increase in home drinking in 2020 is a concern…In the past, home drinking has been a relatively under-researched topic, and there is now a need to monitor it more going forward to find out whether these home drinking habits picked up by people in 2020 become a new norm within peoples’ drinking behaviour.”

Dr Abigail Stevely, co-author of the study from the University of Sheffield, suggests that late night drinking could be explained by the differences in our routine which lockdown brought about, including the lack of usual social events involving alcohol during the daytime such as going for a drink with work colleagues.


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