A new report in Australia has found that the number of calls to alcohol support services in 2021 was triple that made before the pandemic.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in Australia has found that the number of calls has increased due to higher levels of stress and anxiety, as well as boredom and isolation that Australians experienced during lockdowns.
Parents, the unemployed or people with precarious jobs were all more likely to drink during the pandemic.
The report released on Friday shows Australians made 25,000 calls to the National Alcohol and Other Drugs Helpline last year, up from around 7,800 calls in 2019.
Study director Luke Hutchins says the psychological impacts of the pandemic have been linked to riskier drinking.
“The demand for help will not go away just because the restrictions have eased,” he said.
“The effects of the pandemic have been deeply felt at all levels of our community and will continue to be felt for years to come.”
The report refers to a 2020 Australian National University study, which found around one in five people increased their alcohol consumption during the initial stages of the pandemic.
Around one in four actually reduced the amount they drank, while around one in two Australians drank the same amount.
The foundation urges more monitoring of the way people drink, as well as closely monitoring the use of online alcohol delivery and the strengthening of support services for domestic violence, alcohol abuse being often a dominant factor in domestic violence.