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Koeger, Melanie; Schillok, Hannah; Voss, Stephan; Coenen, Michaela; Merkel, Christina; Jung-Sievers, Caroline (2022): Alcohol Use of German Adults during Different Pandemic Phases: Repeated Cross-Sectional Analyses in the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring Study (COSMO). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (9): 5489. ISSN 1660-4601

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ijerph-19-05489_alcohol use.pdf

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There is little evidence on how different COVID-19 pandemic phases influence the alcohol use behaviour of adults. The objective of this study is to investigate alcohol use frequency over different COVID-19 pandemic phases and to identify vulnerable subgroups for risky use behaviour in the German adult population. Survey waves of 14/15 April 2020 (n = 1032), 23/24 June 2020 (n = 993), and 26/27 January 2021 (n = 1001) from the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) were analysed. The mean age was 46 ± 15.3 years in April, 46 ± 15.5 years in June, and 45 ± 15.5 years in January. The gender ratio was mostly equal in each survey wave. Descriptive analyses and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses for individuals with increased alcohol use frequency (AUF) were performed. 13.2% in April (lockdown), 11.3% in June (easement), and 8.6% in January (lockdown) of participants showed an increased AUF. Individuals with perceived burden, high frustration levels due to protective measures, and young to middle-aged adults were more likely to increase their AUF during different pandemic phases. In conclusion, unfavourable alcohol behaviour might occur as a potentially maladaptive coping strategy in pandemics. Because of potential negative long-term consequences of problematic alcohol use behaviour on health, public health strategies should consider mental health consequences and target addictive behaviour, while also guiding risk groups towards healthy coping strategies such as physical activities during pandemics/crises.

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