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Feelings of Anxiety and Frequency of Alcohol Use During The Covid-19 Epidemic
The COVID-19 epidemic with its safety measures to control virus spread, including social distancing, has profoundly changed daily routine, caused stress and thus increased strong cravings for alcohol in both those who are addicted to alcohol and those who are not. The study aimed to examine frequency of alcohol use among participants during an epidemic and whether and how is correlated with feelings of anxiety and demographic characteristics. A total of 186 participants with mean age of 30.7 years (SD = 10.4) completed the AUDIT questionnaire, which measures frequent alcohol use, and the anxiety questionnaire. The results showed that 93 % of all participants consumed alcohol in the last year, and 64.2 % were intoxicated at least once a year. Risky alcohol consumption was reported by 29.4 % participants. Men (M = 10.2; SD = 7.5) reported a significantly greater increases in alcohol consumption comparing to women (M = 4.3; SD = 3.2) (p < 0.0005). Younger male participants had greater increases in alcohol consumption (rho = -0.424), younger female participants reported of experiencing more anxiety (rho = -0.265). Women with more anxiety had more symptoms of addiction (rho=0,171) and consequences of alcohol consumption (rho = 0.265), while in men this correlation was not significant. Findings indicate importance of understanding alcohol consumption as a way of coping with psychological distress during the COVID-19 epidemic and highlight the need for longitudinal research to understand effects of isolation on drinking behaviors.