Alcohol consumption

COVID Causes Some Jamaicans to Increase Alcohol Use – NCU Researchers | News

The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures have triggered an increase in the consumption of alcoholic beverages among sections of the Jamaican population, including those who have reported suffering from emotional problems, according to the results of a survey conducted by Northern Caribbean University (NCU) researchers.

The research, titled “Impact of Alcohol Use on the Psychological Well-Being of Jamaicans During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was conducted in June and July 2021 by an interdepartmental team led by Paul Andrew Bourne of the Research Department institutional.

Some 500 participants were interviewed.

Researchers say more than four in 10 respondents said that since the onset of the pandemic, they have started consuming more alcoholic beverages, with some drinking up to four times a week.

Financial instability caused by the pandemic has been the main driver of the increase in alcohol consumption, it was noted.

Four in 10 respondents said that drinking alcohol made it difficult, if not impossible, for them to perform simple tasks.

Research has shown that just over a third of all respondents reported suffering from depression since the pandemic, with nearly 70 percent of them experiencing some form of psychological problem.

Of the 500 participants surveyed, 336 said they had consumed alcoholic beverages due to emotional distress since the pandemic.

“This indicates a relationship between alcohol use and emotional distress / problems encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the researchers argued.

They concluded that depression is the most likely psychological problem encountered since the pandemic, indicating a prevalence of 3.4% in 2017, compared to the current prevalence of 25% which appears to be seven times higher.

This suggests a critical impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on people’s mental health, according to NCU researchers.

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