“Being cooped up with family for weeks and months without a break can be difficult, but when excess alcohol gets mixed in, it can become a recipe for increased aggressive behavior and domestic violence,” Killgore said. “I worry about the effect on families and children.”
Alcohol abuse can also affect work, he added.
“Many of us are working from home, but this is not the same thing as being productive from home. The use of alcohol while ‘on the job’ at home is likely to reduce productivity at a time when the country needs us to be doing everything we can to sustain the economy,” Killgore said.
“Having a few drinks while ‘on the clock’ at home can lead to a situation of ‘presenteeism,’ which means that a person may be sitting through Zoom meetings and responding to a few emails, but may not actually be contributing productively to their job,” he noted. “This could severely hamper our ability to pull out of this crisis quickly and on a strong economic footing.”
The findings were published in the February issue of the journal Psychiatry Research.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more on alcohol use during the pandemic.