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Pollard MS, Tucker JS, Green HD. Changes in Adult Alcohol Use and Consequences During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2022942. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.22942
As stay-at-home orders began in some US states as a mitigation strategy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission, Nielsen reported a 54% increase in national sales of alcohol for the week ending March 21, 2020, compared with 1 year before; online sales increased 262% from 2019.1 Three weeks later, the World Health Organization warned that alcohol use during the pandemic may potentially exacerbate health concerns and risk-taking behaviors.2 This study examines individual-level changes in alcohol use and consequences associated with alcohol use in US adults, as well as demographic disparities, from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this survey study, data were collected using the RAND Corporation American Life Panel (ALP), a nationally representative, probability-sampled panel of 6000 participants age 18 years or more who speak English or Spanish; data are weighted to match a range of national demographic characteristics.3 Panel members provide informed consent annually online. All procedures were approved by the RAND Corporation Human Subjects Protection Committee. A sample of 2615 ALP members ages 30 to 80 years was invited to participate in the baseline survey (wave 1), which was closed after 6 weeks (April 29-June 9, 2019) with 1771 completions. Wave 2 data were collected from May 28 to June 16, 2020, several months after widespread implementation of COVID-19–associated social distancing. This study followed the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) reporting guideline for survey studies.
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