In-Person Contacts and Their Relationship With Alcohol Consumption Among Young Adults With Hazardous Drinking During a Pandemic

Brian Suffoletto, Nilam Ram, Tammy Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Social distancing strategies such as “stay-at-home” (SAH) orders can slow the transmission of contagious viruses like the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but require population adherence to be effective. This study explored adherence to SAH orders by young adults with hazardous drinking, and the role of alcohol consumption with in-person contacts on adherence. Methods: Analyses included young adults with hazardous drinking (i.e., AUDIT-C score ≥3/4 for women/men; n = 50; ages 18–25) participating in a randomized trial in Pittsburgh, PA. Participants provided experience sampling reports on drinking twice per week from the week before SAH orders started on April 1, 2020 through 6 weeks during the SAH period. We examined how in-person contact with non-household friends changed over time and event-level relationships between alcohol consumption and in-person contacts. Results: The percentage of participants with any in-person contact in the week before SAH was 44% (95% confidence interval [CI] 30%–59%), which decreased to 29% (95% CI 15%–43%) in the first SAH week and increased to 65% (95% CI 46%–85%) by SAH week 6. Controlling for average levels of alcohol consumption, on days when young adults drank, participants reported more in-person contacts compared to nondrinking days. Conclusions: Preliminary data indicate that, among young adults with hazardous drinking, adherence to public policies like SAH orders is suboptimal, declines over time, and is associated with drinking events. Interventions aimed at enhancing young adults' adherence to social distancing policies are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-676
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume67
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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