How’s your lockdown hangover? Researchers want your experiences of lockdown drinking – Imperial College

Pint of beer on a wooden bar top

With reports of a spike in alcohol sales suggesting that many are turning to alcohol during lockdown and beyond, Imperial College London PhD student Emily Palmer is conducting a survey to find out more about alcohol consumption and the potential public health consequences.

I thought about the unprecedented global scale at which lockdown has forced a change in our social behaviours.

The removal of these social norms and common drinking occasions such as weddings, parties and sports events will undoubtably have a dramatic impact on how alcohol is being consumed.

When researching the topic, I came across a paper that predicted COVID-19 would lead to the increase in alcohol and substance use disorders amongst other mental health illnesses (Holmes et al).

I already knew from media reports that UK alcohol sales had jumped 22% in March of this year (McKevitt, 2020). The simultaneous increase in levels of anxiety due to the global pandemic had the capacity to increase levels of problem drinking or change attitudes towards consumption.

I therefore set about developing a survey (with the help of my team) with the aim of understanding how these unprecedented times are affecting alcohol consumption, motivations and hangovers.

I hope the findings will provide valuable insights to potential public health risks as a consequence of these global pandemic interventions. The data from this survey will improve our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on patterns and health outcomes of alcohol consumption.

Emily Palmer, PhD researcher at Imperial College

Contribute to a study of the impact of COVID-19 on alcohol consumption, motivation to drink and hangovers with this 20-minute anonymous survey: https://hangover.cognitron.co.uk

Emily Palmer is a PhD student working with Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes and Dr Magdalena Sastre at Imperial’s Department of Brain Sciences.

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