New data released today shows one-in-five Australians have purchased more alcohol than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the majority are drinking more and have concerns about their alcohol use and the drinking of others in their household.
National polling by YouGov Galaxy, commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), shows that 20 per cent of Australians purchased more alcohol and 70 per cent of them are drinking more alcohol than normal, with one third (33 per cent) now using alcohol daily.
“Alcohol sales are up over the past month and while the alcohol industry wants you to believe that people aren’t actually drinking that alcohol, this YouGov Galaxy research reveals the truth,” said FARE CEO Caterina Giorgi.
The poll found that almost one third of people (32 per cent) who purchased more alcohol are concerned about their own drinking or someone in their household’s drinking, and 28 per cent are now drinking alcohol to cope with anxiety and stress.
Ms Giorgi says there is great concern about the harmful impacts of this increase in alcohol use.
“Increased drinking by people worried about COVID-19 might be good news for alcohol industry executives, but it’s certainly worrying news for our community’s health,” Ms Giorgi said.
Ms Giorgi says that governments need to be taking action now to ensure that harms from alcohol don’t increase now and into the future.
“We need to get ahead of this before it’s too late and this involves action from governments across the country to address the alcohol industry’s aggressive marketing practices, place limits on late night and rapid online alcohol product delivery, boost funding for our alcohol and other drug services and provide messages to the public on how to reduce the risks from drinking alcohol as part of their current public health campaigns,” she said.