Alcohol-related problems increased 49% for women and 69% for men in the the pandemic, but the reason remains unclear, says research by RAND Corporation.
RAND’s relatively benign statistics come on top of CDC data showing a 26% surge
in alcohol-induced deaths in 2020, and a forecast rise of 22% on pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
The rise in men was 47% in 25-44-year-old men and 44% rise in women 35-44, Alcohol Review analysis
found (see chart). Overall roughly twice the number of American men died alcohol-induced deaths than women. But the 2020 rise was higher in women, at 26.4%, compared to 25.3% in men.
The death rise was highest among people of more than once race, where deaths rose 52%. Native Americans and Asians saw rises of 34% and 32%, and African Americans, 28%. The rise was 25% in white people, who made up 85% of the dead.
The US alcohol death toll has had little attention or analysis. But research
on similarly high lockdown alcohol death rates in the UK suggests the explanation lies in a polarisation in drinking, with more heavier drinkers reaching lethal amounts. ■