Did People Really Drink More During the Pandemic?

A Look at American Drinking Habits Throughout COVID-19


Early on during the pandemic, researchers began to see a troubling sign: alcohol sales went through the roof. Now, a year into the health crisis, anecdotal evidence has become more based on fact and we can see disturbing patterns between lockdowns, economic instability, and increased reliance on alcohol.

A December 2020 article on NPR discussed the problem and offered solutions about how to cut back. The Life Kit discussion “Americans Are Drinking More During the Pandemic. Here’s How To Cut Back” offers some key insights on drinking behaviors and how to stop the trend.

Undoubtedly alcohol sales rose drastically during the early days of quarantine. As noted in another article by NPR alcohol sales were up 350% compared to the same period last year according to a home alcohol delivery company. 

Health experts have known for ages that alcohol is often used to provide temporary comfort in otherwise stressful times. The pandemic has offered nothing short of stress and anxiety to Americans nationwide. Record unemployment, uncertainty about long-term financial stability, food insecurity, the inability to make rent and mortgage payments, lack of access to child care, and more have all been at the forefront during these difficult times. 

Let alone the fact that a virus spread across the world at an alarming rate killing over half a million people in the United States. Addiction experts, almost immediately, began waving the red flag for a potential crisis within a crisis. Now, as the world begins to creep back to some sort of normalcy, people can begin to assess if they have developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and should seek help. Take time to review your drinking habits and consider treatment if you are unable to stop.