The average adult spent 172 hours drunk during lockdown

July 7, 2020

Clocktail Hours: The average adult spent 172 hours drunk during lockdown, finds study.

Being stuck at home for a solid few months means many Americans have had to get creative when it comes to ways to pass the time during lockdown. For a significant number of people, video calling technology has been both a means of keeping in touch with loved ones, as well as an entertainment platform through virtual  games, quizzes and even open mic nights! For many others, drinking alcohol was their way of passing time.

American Addiction Centers, provider of rehabilitation resources and programs, conducted a survey of 3,200 American adults (aged 21+) to find out how much time they have actually spent drunk during lockdown. Overall, it was found that the average American adult was drunk for 172 hours during lockdown.*

The table below shows how many hours each state spent drunk in lockdown, based on an average of 11 weeks spent in lockdown across the US.

State Hours Drunk in Lockdown
Alabama 132
Alaska 132
Arizona 162
Arkansas 83
California 221
Colorado 337
Connecticut 288
Delaware 132
Florida 179
Georgia 261
Hawaii 94
Idaho 44
Illinois 191
Indiana 102
Iowa 123
Kansas 164
Kentucky 50
Louisiana 74
Maine 234
Maryland 178
Massachusetts 158
Michigan 93
Minnesota 272
Mississippi 234
Missouri 143
Montana 339
Nebraska 79
Nevada 33
New Hampshire 66
New Jersey 375
New Mexico 444
New York 165
North Carolina 234
North Dakota 183
Ohio 176
Oklahoma 103
Oregon 194
Pennsylvania 74
Rhode Island 158
South Carolina 135
South Dakota 468
Tennessee 146
Texas 165
Utah 223
Vermont 185
Virginia 180
Washington 134
West Virginia 158
Wisconsin 185
Wyoming 121

*Based on a survey of 3,000 American adults (21+)

Having a few more extra hours per day means many Americans were inspired to try new things during lockdown. Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) of those surveyed said lockdown inspired them to experiment with different types of alcoholic drinks that they hadn’t tried before. It appears men (29%) were more experimental, while women (19%) preferred to stick to their usual drinks.

As many Americans are used to the chaos of everyday life and being busy all the time, having extra free time on their hands can actually be a difficult thing to deal with. Coupled with the fact that so many people have been left unemployed due to the pandemic, lockdown has also been extremely distressing for some. For this reason, it is important to keep a close eye on friends and family members, especially if they are in challenging predicaments during this time, in order to make sure they are not falling into unhealthy coping mechanisms. In fact, 1 in 10 respondents (10%) said they had to confront a partner, family member or friend about their excessive alcohol consumption during lockdown.

Additionally, 14% of people said they have spent more time drunk during lockdown than they did before it began. This may also be due to the fact that if you’re purchasing alcohol from a liquor store, you may be more likely to buy more as it works out cheaper than if you were buying at a bar or restaurant on a night out.

As humans, we all need time to ourselves, which is why living with another person during lockdown can be incredibly challenging as you are in each other’s space all the time, especially if both partners are working from home. For this reason, it’s no surprise that nearly 1 in 5 people (19%) who were in lockdown with their partner admit they secretly had a drink without telling their significant other. Nineteen percent of women admitted to this compared to 17% of men. 

“The extra time that many have gained in their day could unintentionally turn the habit of drinking alcohol to a concerning health issue,” said Dr. Shahzad Allawala, medical director at Greenhouse Treatment Center (part of American Addiction Centers). “As daily routines approach normalcy, if you find that your drinking, or the urge to drink, is interfering in multiple areas of your life, it may be time that the issue is addressed clinically.”

*Based on an average of 11 weeks spent in lockdown across the US.

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