Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Home Delivery Laws During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Alcohol consumption in the U.S. is a public health problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Relatedly, many states have responded to COVID-19 by weakening their alcohol laws, making it possible for adults to have alcohol delivered to their homes.
This study sought to understand the impact of allowing alcohol home delivery on self-reported adult alcohol consumption in the US.
In May 2020, researchers surveyed a convenience sample of U.S. adults over 21 years of age recruited through social media and listservs. Eight 832 participants completed the online survey: 84% were female, 85% were White, and 72% were between the ages of 26 and 49.
21% of participants who consumed alcohol in the past month had at least some alcohol delivered, with 60% having it delivered from liquor stores, restaurants, or bars.
The remainder of the participants purchased the alcohol in-person or owned it pre-COVID-19.
Participants who reported having alcohol delivered also reported consuming more alcohol units and using alcohol on more days over the past month than participants who obtained alcohol through other methods.
Participants who had alcohol delivered were nearly two times more likely to report engaging in binge alcohol use than those who obtained alcohol through other methods.
Obtaining alcohol through home delivery was associated with greater alcohol consumption including binge alcohol use.
As states consider permanently allowing alcohol home delivery, it is important to consider the potential public health implications.