Sep 30, 2020 - Health

Americans are drinking more alcohol than in 2019

Illustration of a mug of beer, with a sad face in the foam

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans reported drinking alcohol more frequently and in higher quantities since last year, according to a study published in JAMA.

Why it matters: Excessive alcohol consumption may cause or worsen mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. Experts have also warned the stress of the pandemic has fomented alcohol and drug abuse.

By the numbers: The greatest changes were among women and people 30 to 59 years old.

  • On average, alcohol was consumed one day more per month by three of four adults.
  • Frequency of alcohol consumption for women increased by 17%. Heavy drinking among women — four or more drinks within a few hours — spiked 41% since 2019.
  • Adults aged 30 to 59 years increased their drinking by 19% since last year.
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