Survey: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans drinking heavily amid pandemic

Survey: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans drinking heavily amid pandemic
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Nearly one in five Americans say they have been drinking heavily during the pandemic, according to a new survey by The Harris Poll commissioned by biopharmaceutical company Alkermes.

The survey defined “heavy drinking” as having two days a week where a woman drank more than four drinks or a man drank more than five drinks. This would have had to happen twice in the past 30 days for someone to be considered a heavy drinker in the survey, USA Today reported

The survey says around 17 percent of participants drank heavily in the previous 30 days. 

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Those who said they drank heavily in the past year also reported a decline in mental, psychosocial and physical health. 

Three in 10 said they drank despite knowing it was causing them anxiety and one in four continued to drink after losing some memory from a night out. 

During the pandemic, many struggled with most activities shut down and having to be confined to their homes for longer periods of time. 

Experts have been vocal about the negative effects long periods of isolation can cause, with an increase in drinking one of the downfalls. 

The survey found 23 percent of individuals either didn’t go or went less often to things they enjoyed in order to drink while one in five had withdrawal symptoms, according to USA Today.

A large majority, 87 percent, were not undergoing treatment for their drinking as more than half knew of treatment options available. 

The survey was conducted between March 30 and April 7. There were 6,006 U.S. adults surveyed with 1,003 found to be heavily drinking.