Twenty per cent of Canadians who drink alcohol and have been staying at home more due to the COVID-19 pandemic say they have been drinking alcohol once a day since the beginning of May.
This according to a new Nanos poll commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) released on June 9.
Among those who drink alcohol and are staying home more, almost 80% say their alcohol consumption is about the same or less than it was before the pandemic. The study also found that more than 1 in 10 women (11.7%) reported four or more drinks on the days on which they drank and more than 1 in 10 men (11.7%) reported drinking five or more drinks on the days on which they drank.
“It is reassuring to see that for the majority of Canadians alcohol use has either decreased or remained stable since the onset of COVID-19,” states Dr. Catherine Paradis, senior research and policy analyst at CCSA. “However, from a gender perspective, there is concern. On average, female consumers of alcohol are reporting 2.4 alcoholic drinks per occasion — which is above the low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines — and about 12% are reporting they consume alcohol in excess when they drink. By doing so, women are putting themselves at risk for short- and long-term negative health consequences.”
Significant findings from the report include:
- One in five (20.5%) who drink alcohol and are staying at home more report drinking alcohol more often than before the onset of the pandemic.
- Stress and boredom are the most frequently mentioned reasons for consuming alcohol more often in May than April.
- 8% indicated that on at least one occasion they had not been able to stop once they started consuming alcohol.
- It is noteworthy that one in seven who are staying at home more and drink alcohol say that they have at least once felt guilt or remorse after drinking since the onset of COVID-19.
— Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA)