By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Alcohol use among young Australian adults in May-June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic: a prospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Philip J Clare
  • Alexandra Aiken
  • Wing See Yuen
  • Emily Upton
  • Kypros Kypri
  • Louisa Degenhardt
  • Raimondo Bruno
  • Jim McCambridge
  • Nyanda McBride
  • Delyse Hutchinson
  • Tim Slade
  • Richard Mattick
  • Amy Peacock


Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 26 May 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2021
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2021
Issue number12
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)3398-3407
Early online date24/06/21
Original languageEnglish


AIMS: To estimate change in young people's alcohol consumption during COVID-19 restrictions in Australia in early-mid 2020, and test whether those changes were consistent by gender and level of consumption prior to the pandemic.

DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal cohort.

SETTING: Secondary schools in New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.

PARTICIPANTS: Subsample of a cohort (n = 443) recruited in the first year of secondary school in 2010-11. Analysis data included three waves collected in September 2017-July 2018, September 2018-May 2019 and August 2019-January 2020), and in May-June 2020.

MEASUREMENTS: The primary predictors were time, gender and level of consumption prior to the pandemic. Outcome variables, analysed by mixed-effects models, included frequency and typical quantity of alcohol consumption, binge drinking, peak consumption, alcohol-related harm and drinking contexts.

FINDINGS: Overall consumption (frequency × quantity) during the restrictions declined by 17% [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.73, 0.95] compared to February 2020, and there was a 35% decline in the rate of alcohol-related harms in the same period (IRR = 0.66; 95% CI = 0.54, 0.79). Changes in alcohol consumption were largely consistent by gender.

CONCLUSIONS: From a survey of secondary school students in Australia, there is evidence for a reduction in overall consumption and related harms during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Society for the Study of Addiction. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology, Australia/epidemiology, COVID-19, Cohort Studies, Humans, Pandemics, Prospective Studies, SARS-CoV-2

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