Parents turning to booze in lockdown

As many families grapple with the return to some sense of normalcy, a return to school and an easing of restrictions across the country, new research has shown parents have been turning to alcohol during the COVID-19 lockdown.

One in six parents in the national survey were drinking daily, according to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation data.

Other key statistics include:

  • 29% parents have increased their alcohol intake
  • Parents of 9-12 year olds were found to be drinking the most, with one in 10 saying they were drinking “a lot more” following the introduction of coronavirus restrictions
  • Almost a quarter of parents of the 9-12 year old age group (23%) said they have been consuming alcohol in front of their children daily or every other day during lockdown.

The poll of over 1000 parents has been released to support a new community health initiative: ‘You haven’t been drinking alone’.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor said while parents were turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism, it was important to remember parental behaviours greatly influence children.

“It’s really concerning that more than one quarter of Australian parents have increased their alcohol consumption since the reality of COVID-19 hit,” she said.

“Parents may have been drinking in isolation, but they haven’t been drinking alone. Since the start of lockdown, some children have seen their parents’ occasional alcoholic drink turn into a daily ritual.

“Others have played in the background of their parents Zoom calls which can act as virtual pub tables.”

As the restrictions of coronavirus begin to ease, parents can quickly re-establish themselves as positive role models, Dr Lalor said.

For more details on the ‘You haven’t been drinking alone’ campaign, visit https://adf.org.au/