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Two-thirds of men turn to alcohol to combat loneliness and boredom during Covid-19 pandemic

The survey echoed recent surveys which indicated alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic.

TWO-THIRDS OF men have reported turning to alcohol to combat loneliness and boredom during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey carried out by charity Drinkaware. 

The Behaviour & Attitudes survey of 1,015 adults in Ireland shows 66% of men report using alcohol as a coping mechanism, compared to 55% of women and the 60% national average. 

Drinkaware, which is funded by the drinks industry, released the results of the survey to mark the beginning of men’s health week. 

It found that that some 57% of men report drinking alcohol weekly, compared to 48% of women, while 21% of men reported binge drinking four or more times in the 30 day period up to 25 April, compared to 10% of women. 

The figures echo similar findings from a life satisfaction study carried out by the CSO which indicated that 40% of adults report an increased use of alcohol during the pandemic. 

Drinkaware’s CEO Sheena Horgan said: “The data tells the story of stark gender divide regarding alcohol consumption in Ireland.  Irish men are clearly using alcohol as a way to cope with the anxiety, loneliness and boredom of Covid-19.

She added: “Men already fared worse in terms of frequency and volume of drinking. Now they are exhibiting consistently hazardous and potentially harmful drinking habits.”

Some 40% of men reported drinking alone at home – almost a quarter higher than the 32% of women who reported the same. 

In addition, some 27% of men said they would like to reduce their alcohol consumption. 

Further data from Kantar’s supermarket insights released this month show that sales of alcohol almost doubled in May. 

Alcohol sales grew by 93% in the four weeks up to 17 May. Sales of alcohol on Friday 1 May alone, ahead of the long bank holiday weekend, reached €52.8 million in Irish supermarkets. 

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