The Conversation interview with Dan Lubman: "I can't wait until 5pm": people are drinking more alcohol during COVID-19 lockdowns

5 Jun 2020

Being in lockdown has seen many people increase their alcohol use during COVID-19, but should we be worried that these habits will stick? Professor Dan Lubman spoke to ABC Radio’s The Conversation Hour about the need to have honest conversations and what support services are available for those dealing with addiction.

“This is a topic that unfortunately it a bit taboo, and because of that people who are concerned (about others) don’t know how to have the conversation, they don’t know what to say,” Professor Dan Lubman.

Alcohol is embedded in Australian culture. We use in so many contexts of everyday life – to celebrate, to socialise, to deal with stress. So, it’s not surprising that during times of uncertainty, alcohol consumption has increased in many households across the country.

Recent national surveys have shown that 70 percent of Australian’s have been drinking more during lockdown, a third have been consuming alcohol on a daily basis, almost one third of people who have purchased more alcohol have said they were concerned about their own drinking or that of someone else, and 30 percent were drinking to cope with anxiety and stress.

Unfortunately, the stigma around alcohol misuse can prevent us from having honest conversations, but changing the narrative from alcohol being about success and celebration to it being about harms is critical in helping us understand the seriousness of the issue.

Listen to the full interview