Alcohol Use Has Increased During The Pandemic

Sep 23, 2020

Alcohol consumption and sales have increased during the pandemic, according to a survey by WYSAC.
Credit Arek Socha

A new survey finds that alcohol consumption in Wyoming has increased during the pandemic.

The survey was conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC). Senior research scientist Rodney Wambeam said fewer liquor licenses were in use because of closures, but there was more drinking.

"We found that about 16 percent of adults in Wyoming had increased their alcohol consumption," he said. "The other thing that's really interesting is that according to the Department of Revenue, especially in March, we saw a lot more purchasing of wine and spirits."

Wambeam said the increase could have come as people tried to stock up on supplies. He said the state doesn't keep track of beer purchases, which is the most popular drink in Wyoming.

The survey found that the top reasons for increased drinking were boredom, isolation, and stress.

Wambeam also expressed concerns about underage drinking during the pandemic, because he said most kids get alcohol from their parents.

"We worry a lot about all the at home alcohol deliveries because people are online buying, and it's just not the same as being in a liquor store where the retailer can look at your ID and look at you," he said. "If it's being delivered by the UPS driver, they're not in charge of checking IDs."

Wambeam said that we may need to rethink some of our alcohol policies across the U.S.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu