Parents first blame Zoom parties, quizzes and pandemic pressure for drinking too much during lockdown

Many parents have previously turned to alcohol as a way to distract and relax themselves during the lockdown, a new survey has outlined.

Ireland’s national alcohol abuse awareness charity, Rincaware, released a study today revealing that many parents indulged in alcohol during the pandemic because they felt an excessive amount of pressure with little or no support.

The charity also revealed that weekly drinking is on the rise nationally, with 55 percent of those surveyed drinking at least once a week in 2021, compared to 44 percent in 2019.

Parents of pre-school children, primary school children and adolescents were spoken to in focus groups as early as 2022 for the survey.

Many participating parents named Lockdown One (March-June 2020) as the worst period in terms of increase in alcohol consumption, with most pulling back after realizing that their drinking was the most level they were unhappy with.

Some said they rarely drink at home but pubs are closing and the popularity of Zoom parties and quizzes has encouraged them.

Thirty percent of those surveyed said they did not use any device or technology to control their drinking after pulling back, while 24 PCs used an app to monitor their drinking.

One parent surveyed said “little things” motivated them to drink more during the pandemic.

“In normal times there is no way I would have risked a hangover at work, but during the pandemic there was nothing to stop me,” he said.

“You can turn off the camera in a Zoom meeting.”

Another said: “Drinking at home is not something we would have done, completely rare for us, but were the pubs closed, so what were we going to do?

“Some of them get Zoom and we were on our way to it, I was making martinis and all.”

Whereas a parent of a teenager said: “We will overindulge on the weekends with wine, beer, maybe even after dinner stuff, there will be a fair amount, but we only drink on the weekends so it’s not something that’s going to happen.” I would worry about it.”

The parents felt they had been put under “unbearable pressure without any support” during the pandemic restrictions.

Many cut their kids off from their regular routines and outlets, adding to the pressure, as in, leaving parents responsible for them 24/7.

Many parents said they had to quit or lose employment on top of it, or wander around for childcare while working in essential roles.

There was also significant pressure of home schooling, with no access to their usual support network on top of all this.

The pressure for kids to keep it together meant that parents had to keep their worries under control.

The study authors said most parents who spoke to them “felt they weren’t adequately supported during the pandemic — they were expected to take a huge sum with no one complicating their challenges.” ”

As a result, alcohol became an easy answer to many problems.

The parent of an elementary school student said: “There was so much pressure on the parents, it was unfair on us, on the kids. I had 3 kids in the house, with a partner who was an out-of-home essential worker, Plus putting my own work down. I honestly don’t know how I did it.”

Drinkware’s CEO, Sheena Horgan, said the study shows parents are very self-conscious about drinking more, yet “employ a random subjective reasoning for their rules around drinks.”

She continued: “The missing piece here are facts about risk and what it really looks like to drink harmfully.

“It is this knowledge and motivation gap that Drinkware works hard to fill, and the positive impact of educating parents and reducing their harmful drinking, reducing children’s exposure to alcoholism, and coping with alcoholism.” is a generalization to use.”

Ms Horgan said the study clearly shows how parents want to do the “right thing” when it comes to alcohol and their children.

She continued: “Findings recently published by the Board of Health Research suggest that despite a decrease in the prevalence of binge drinking, Ireland ranks 7th out of 35 European countries for reporting adolescents being drunk.

“More needs to be done to provide the knowledge and encouragement necessary to influence healthy behavior and to ensure that alcoholism has no place in childhood.”