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Article

Effects of the COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking in College Students: A Longitudinal Survey

Psychological Neuroscience Laboratory (PNL), Research Center in Psychology (CIPsi), School of Psychology, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Academic Editors: Richard S. Feinn and Elisardo Becoña Iglesias
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189822
Received: 23 August 2021 / Revised: 13 September 2021 / Accepted: 14 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
To “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 contagion, several countries ordered lockdowns amid the pandemic along with indications on social distancing. These social isolation measures could potentially bring alterations to healthy behavior, including to alcohol consumption. However, there is hardly any scientific evidence of the impact of such measures on alcohol consumption and binge drinking (BD) among young adults, and how they relate to alcohol craving, stress, anxiety, and depression levels. We addressed these questions by conducting a longitudinal study with 146 Portuguese college students—regular binge drinkers (regular BDs), infrequent binge drinkers (infrequent BDs) and non-binge drinkers (non-BDs)—in three moments: before the pandemic (Pre-Lockdown), during lockdown (Lockdown) and 6 months after (Post-Lockdown). Results revealed that regular BDs decreased alcohol use during Lockdown, a change in behavior that was even greater during Post-Lockdown, when regular BDs displayed similar levels of consumption to infrequent/non-BDs. Additionally, alcohol craving and living with friends were predictive of alcohol use during Lockdown, whereas stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms did not contribute to explain changes in drinking behavior. Collectively, the results suggest that BD in young Portuguese college students can be stopped when the contexts in which alcohol intake usually takes place are suppressed, which may have important implications for future prevention and intervention strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; binge drinking; COVID-19; pandemic; young adults; college students; alcohol craving; stress; anxiety; depression alcohol; binge drinking; COVID-19; pandemic; young adults; college students; alcohol craving; stress; anxiety; depression
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vasconcelos, M.; Crego, A.; Rodrigues, R.; Almeida-Antunes, N.; López-Caneda, E. Effects of the COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking in College Students: A Longitudinal Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9822. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189822

AMA Style

Vasconcelos M, Crego A, Rodrigues R, Almeida-Antunes N, López-Caneda E. Effects of the COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking in College Students: A Longitudinal Survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9822. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189822

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vasconcelos, Margarida, Alberto Crego, Rui Rodrigues, Natália Almeida-Antunes, and Eduardo López-Caneda. 2021. "Effects of the COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking in College Students: A Longitudinal Survey" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9822. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189822

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