Impact of COVID-19 on alcohol consumption patterns of young partygoers
Due to phenomena such as confinement, COVID-19 pandemic introduced profound changes in the way people interact. We can, therefore, question the effects on psychoactive substances (PS's) consumption patterns of young partygoers. In this sense, this study aims to enable a better understanding of changes in alcohol consumption patterns, as well as the causes to these alterations. To accomplish this study, surveys were conducted among partygoers and/or PS’s users over 18 years old, in which it was asked how the social limitations affected their patterns. All the participants are from Portugal, mainly Viseu, being the sample representative of the population contacted by beSafe harm reduction (HR) team. Data treatment consisted in response frequencies analysis, as well as statistical tests using SPSS program, in which the responses were crossed with parameters that could possibly influence them. Of the respondents, 46% affirmed they have altered their alcohol consumption pattern, and 62% of those affirmed they have reduced the frequency of usage. On the contrary, 23% revealed having increased their alcohol consumption frequency. It was possible to conclude that illicit PS’s users are more likely to manifest these changes. Emotions management, as anxiety and stress, and confinement rules are the most frequent causes for these alterations, being masculine gender and family cohabitation, and no professional occupation predictors of these causes, respectively. Furthermore, it was possible to notice a decrease on alcohol consumption, strongly associated with party settings by a fraction of this population, characterized by the binge drinking consumption pattern. This may be challenging for HR teams in a nearby future, since users with this pattern will have their tolerance decreased, and is predicted that when confinement rules become less strict their personal consumption patterns go back to the way they were before the pandemic started, being foreseen an increase on crisis situations.