COVID-19 Risk Appears to Vary Across Different Alcoholic Beverages

Last Updated on 15/04/2024 by Khoa Huynh

Finally, adapting to the current situation and preparedness to handle the repercussions due to pandemic is important. Survivor guilt, PTSD among survivors may put people at risk to addiction [124]. Evidence based policy changes, improving access to treatment for alcohol use disorders, liaison sober house boston services, evidence-based prevention, and prioritising care of vulnerable population are urgently required [125]. Although the results on changes in alcohol use patterns during lockdown are mixed, there have been reports of binge/heavy drinking during lockdown and relapses postlockdown.

  1. Likewise, younger participants (15–24 years old) were more likely to report increased drug use compared to older participants (aged 25 years and older) according to Sanchez et al. (2020).
  2. NIAAA supports a wide range of research on alcohol use and its effects on health and wellbeing.
  3. It has also been observed that alcohol increased the risk of COVID-19 infection.
  4. Three studies specifically reported a negative effect of the epidemic on the use of substances (Czeisler et al., 2020, Gritsenko et al., 2020, Rogers et al., 2020).

The proportion of people consuming other substances during the pandemic ranged from 3.6% to 17.5% in the general population. Mental health factors were the most common correlates or triggers for increased use of both alcohol and other substances. Services for patients with alcohol use disorders have been adversely affected across the globe. It is thus important to focus and train healthcare workers like nursing health professionals to deliver addiction related services [117]. Another important way to reduce the treatment gap is to harness technology [57]. One such example is e-consult for people with SUD during the pandemic and training support to healthcare workers in distant places to manage with SUD [118].

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on alcohol use disorders and complications

Problematic substance or alcohol use which is not addressed can lead to adverse consequences for individuals and families, and has significant costs for health systems and societies (Public Health England, 2018). The data on increases in emergency admissions relating to overdose provides information which may be useful to emergency services and emergency response planners, in relation to future crises and pandemics. Two studies reported a statistically significant association between educational status and increasing drug use. The factor related to an increase in cannabis use was intermediate or low level of education, in a study by Rolland et al. (2020) whereas those starting medications/substances had a higher level of education in study by Boehnke et al., (2020). In contrast, two studies found that women were significantly more likely to use alcohol than men during the pandemic. In a polish study of physicians, females used alcohol more often and drank more standard drinks per occasion.

Likewise, a timepoint analysis from two psychiatric hospitals in Italy showed that admissions related to alcohol increased from 3.7% and 23.5–6.1% and 36.9% of the total when comparing the first two months of 2020 with March-May 2020 (Luca et al., 2020). We’ve also seen more people end up in hospitals due to alcohol misuse and its consequences, including withdrawal symptoms and liver disease. People seeking liver transplants because of alcohol misuse are younger than ever, with many transplant centers reporting that some of their patients haven’t even reached the age of 30. Unfortunately, deaths due to alcohol-linked liver disease increased by more than 22% during the pandemic. In Greece, a study performed on 705 adults, exploring the drinking habits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed that the consumption by drink type was broadly similar, but more people drank alone (8.0 % vs. 29.0 %) or with their life partners (20.2 % vs. 40.7 %) than with friends (68.2 % vs. 18.5 %). All the participants drank at home during the lockdown, 20.7 % reported an increased consumption, mainly due to isolation (29.7 %), changes in everyday habits (27.5 %) or for coping with anxiety or depression (13.6 %) [41].

In more serious cases, mixing alcohol with medications can cause internal bleeding and organ problems. For example, alcohol can mix with ibuprofen or acetaminophen to cause stomach problems and liver damage. For example, getting regular exercise and practicing stress reduction techniques can help reduce symptoms. It is also important to prevent feelings of isolation by reaching out to friends and family when possible. According to a 2015 article in the journal Alcohol Research, alcohol can prevent immune cells from working properly.

Study authors suggest that this may have led to role overload and distress and consequently heavier drinking (Sallie et al., 2020). From a total of 455 titles on COVID-19 and alcohol, 227 abstracts were screened, and 95 articles were reviewed (on November 25th, 2020). The immediate effect was an increase in alcohol related emergencies including alcohol withdrawal, related suicides, and methanol toxicity.

Data Availability Statement

AR and JR contributed to the study selection, data extraction, data analyses, and manuscript drafting. RM, ANS, TH, GAW & GRL contributed to the data analyses and manuscript drafting. Read stories about the efforts underway to prevent, detect, and treat COVID-19 and its effects on our health. Learn how NIH has improved basic understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and sped up the development of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and testing.

How to Get Help For Alcoholism

NIH-funded study identifies managing maternal stress as a possible way to lessen impacts of prenatal infection on infant socioemotional and cognitive development. Specialists from the World Health Organization have warned against the consumption of alcohol for therapeutic purposes [77]. It does not reduce the risk of infection or the development of severe illness related to COVID-19.

Key findings with respect to special populations

Many policy changes and trends are likely to continue long after the pandemic ends, increasing the risk of alcohol-related problems. Another important factor is malnutrition secondary to excessive alcohol intake [62]. The harmful effect on the mucosa of the digestive tract consists in decreasing the absorption and metabolism of certain nutrients, including B vitamins (B1, B6 and B9 or folic acid), leading to a slowing of leukocyte proliferation and differentiation [63]. The defense mechanisms of the mucosal immune system are also affected, resulting in a dysfunction of the function of IgA and IgG immunoglobulins, which are responsible for local protection against infectious agents [64]. The immune system is a complex set of organs, structures and molecules (such as humoral factors, signal molecules and immunoglobulins), lymphatic vessels and white blood cells are its most important components [49]. Through the immune system, the body provides a shield against disease and infection [50,51].

In four studies, there was a higher proportion of individuals reporting using less alcohol during the pandemic compared to those reporting more alcohol use in relation to pre-pandemic levels (Chodkiewicz et al., 2020, Håkansson, 2020, Scarmozzino and Visioli, 2020, Sallie et al., 2020). Please note the terminology to denote the time-period of the review changes from phrases such ‘pandemic’, ‘lockdown’, ‘social-distancing’ or ‘quarantine’ depending on the terminology used within the respective study being described. Likewise, the dates of the time periods for data collection vary for different countries depending on when quarantine measures were instituted. We spoke with George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), to learn about the pandemic’s effects on alcohol use and related harms. Koob is an expert on the biology of alcohol and drug addiction and has been studying the impact of alcohol on the brain for more than 50 years. He is a national leader in efforts to prevent and treat AUD and to educate people about risky alcohol use.

Trả lời