Dr Michael Savic receives ARC funding to investigate alcohol consumption practices during COVID-19

14 Oct 2020

Congratulations to Dr Michael Savic who is the recipient of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Research Initiative grant. The ARC Special Research Initiative is designed to support excellent research into Australian society, history and culture; and build Australian research capacity by supporting researchers of the highest international standing.

Dr Michael Savic

Dr Savic from Turning Point and the Monash Addiction Research Centre (MARC) will lead a team, including MARC member Associate Professor Steven Roberts, Dr Karla Elliott and Dr Brady Robards from the Faculty of Arts, Monash University, and Dr Robyn Dwyer from La Trobe University, to investigate how alcohol consumption in Australia is impacted by the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A recent study suggests that alcohol sales and consumption have increased in Australia during COVID-19 with 20 percent of households reporting purchasing more alcohol than usual since the pandemic, and over a third of those saying they now drink alcohol on a daily basis. Concerns remain as to whether these increases may be sustained once the pandemic is over. 

The project will take an in-depth look at alcohol consumption practices in Australia and will share insights about the social-cultural impacts of the pandemic by providing practical recommendations that will contribute to new and improved policy responses during and beyond the crisis. The team will use qualitative research methods, including analysing participants’ social media timelines, to understand meanings and practices of alcohol consumption.

"We are aiming to better understand how the meanings and practices of alcohol consumption in Australia are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and how we enhance responses to alcohol use during and beyond times of crisis,” said Dr Savic.