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Alcohol Consumption Has Risen Sharply During COVID-19 Shutdown, Study Shows

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Adults across the country have sharply increased their alcohol consumption during the coronavirus shutdown, a new study found.

According to a national survey by Santa Monica-based RAND Corp., heavy drinking among women — described as four or more drinks within a couple of hours — has increased by 41%.

The survey also found that the overall frequency of alcohol consumption increased by 14% among adults over age 30, compared to the same time last year.

Consumption among all adults aged 30 to 59 increased by 19%, 17% among women and 10% among non-Hispanic white adults, according to the study findings.

"We've had anecdotal information about people buying and consuming more alcohol, but this is some of the first survey-based information that shows how much alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic," said Michael Pollard, lead author of the study and a sociologist at RAND.

"Alcohol consumption can have significant negative health consequences, so this information suggests another way that the pandemic may be affecting the physical and mental health of Americans," Pollard said.

The study was based on a survey of 1,540 adults during the spring of 2019 and again in spring 2020 during the early months of the pandemic shutdown.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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