Alcohol Use During the Great Recession of 2008-2009
The aim of this study was to assess changes in alcohol use in the USA during the Great Recession.
Alcohol use participation, alcohol use frequency, alcohol use intensity, total alcohol consumption and frequency of binge alcohol use were assessed in a nationally representative sample of 2,050,431 US women and men aged 18 and older, interviewed between 2006 and 2010.
The prevalence of any alcohol use significantly declined during the economic recession, from 52.0% in 2006-2007 to 51.6% in 2008-2009 (P < 0.05), corresponding to 880,000 fewer alcohol users (95% confidence interval [CI] 140,000 to 1.6 million). There was an increase, however, in the prevalence of frequent binging on alcohol, from 4.8% in 2006-2007 to 5.1% in 2008-2009 (P < 0.01), corresponding to 770,000 more frequent binge alcohol users (95% CI 390,000 to 1.1 million). Non-Black, unmarried men under 30 years, who recently became unemployed, were at highest risk for frequent binge alcohol use.
During the Great Recession there was an increase in abstention from alcohol and a rise in frequent binge alcohol use.