It's no surprise that the pandemic has impacted the lives of people around the world in more ways than one. In particular, some—especially those of the baby-boomer generation—have adopted ways of dealing with feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness as a result of government-imposed lockdowns, that has been since observed to have contributed to a steady increase in addictions.
One bottle of wine per day
A new study conducted by King's College London has found that those between the age of 55 and 74 have shown concerningly high drinking levels 'indicative of probable alcohol dependence.'
Experts analysed the data on 366 patients within that age bracket and found that many have their first sip of alcohol in the morning and that the total amount of booze consumed in an average day is equivalent to one entire bottle of wine.
Dr Katherine Severi, chief executive of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, explained that:
Before the pandemic, so-called baby boomers were the heaviest drinkers so it is worrying to see an increase in alcohol consumption in this age group. Older adults are at a much greater risk of developing alcohol-related chronic conditions such as breast cancer, bowel cancer and liver disease.
Upwards of 50 units of alcohol per week is what is generally considered to be teetering on 'probably dependence' which rose from 19% to 28% over the pandemic. The number of people drinking four or more times a week rose from 30% to 39%. Finally, those drinking alcohol in the morning saw an increase that more than tripled (from 2% to 7%) over the course of the last year.
'Alcohol acted like a comfort blanket'
Dr Tony Rao, lead author of the study that was published in the Journal of Substance Use, said:
Alcohol has acted like a comfort blanket for some people during lockdown as they struggled with social isolation, health and financial worries, and a lack of routine.
In some cases this drinking has got out of control and driven them over a cliff edge, with a detrimental impact on their health. Before lockdown, they may have been drinking socially with friends but are now drinking at home alone.