Alcohol Use in Germany and Europe during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic
Aims: The aim of this study was to examine changes in alcohol consumption during the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic in Germany in comparison to changes in other European countries. Method: Analyses of sociodemographic and socio-economic data, as well as reports on alcohol use changes since the pandemic collected through a European online survey (N=40,064) in 21 countries. Weights based on gender, age and education were applied to account for sample bias. Results: Since the beginning of the pandemic, alcohol consumption has decreased on average. The decline is primarily due to a reduction in heavy episodic drinking occasions. As compared to other European countries, alcohol consumption in Germany has declined less sharply. This is mainly due to an increase in alcohol consumption among women as well as among people who report negative impacts on jobs and finances and among people with risky consumption patterns. Conclusion: In order to counter negative consequences of increased alcohol consumption in sub-groups during the pandemic, cutting the availability of alcohol through reasonable taxation and fostering alcohol screening activities in primary health care settings is needed.