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Julie Cook Waterloo February 8, 2021
Hi everyone,

I've done some research to find out what the effect of the COVID lockdowns have had on alcohol consumption. Several news stories (e.g. ABC news; Global News) report that alcohol consumption has increased in certain regions; however, globally, the results are mixed. The Global Drug Survey, which was released in September 2020 and includes replies from nearly 56,000 participants, found that some people are increasing their consumption mainly due to boredom, while others are decreasing theirs due to lack of access to social gatherings (e.g. festivals, nightclubs and parties). The survey includes data from 11 countries: Austria, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Results of the Survey in Australia, for example, found that those who drank more tended to have a pre-existing mental health condition (typically depression or anxiety). These findings have implications for exactly who health care practitioners and behaviour change campaigners are reaching out to with support to discourage risky behaviours.

In terms of resources, there is an interesting app called Drinks Meter, that gives instant feedback on drinking habits, comparisons to thousands of other drinker's habits around the world, and individual goal tracking. For anyone working on behavioural campaigns in this area, you may consider adding this resource to your toolkit.