The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by a rapid outbreak of severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has claimed more than 6.9 million lives worldwide.
Scientists worldwide have continued to assess the impact of this pandemic on society at large, which could help formulate effective preventive strategies.
A recent Translational Psychiatry study investigated how COVID-19-related stressors altered drunkenness frequency among men and women with or without a history of alcohol use disorder (AUD).
To prevent further transmission of SARS-CoV-2, many countries’ governments implemented strategies that caused significant disruptions in daily social activities, domestic and international traveling, schooling, and employment.
Previous studies have indicated that mass traumatic events (e.g., public shootings and 9/11 terrorist attacks) and viral outbreaks (e.g., the SARS epidemic) have led to an increase in alcohol use, particularly among individuals with a history of AUD.
Although some studies have indicated an increase in alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic, not many studies have investigated the impact of this pandemic on vulnerable groups, particularly those with AUD.
Stressful events have been linked with the recurrence of AUD. Therefore, it is important to determine the specific COVID-19 stressor that enhances alcohol misuse, as this information will help formulate an effective strategy to mitigate this risk.
A recent study has indicated that approximately 50% of adults who recovered from a substance use disorder reported cravings during the COVID-19 isolation period.