The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has today unveiled new data that shows increased video catch ups with friends as a catalyst for Australian parents drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 lockdown.
One in five (19%) parents who have upped their alcohol consumption during isolation cited extra video socialising as a factor in their increased alcohol intake. Of those, parents aged 18-34 were far more likely (31%) to say extra video socialising prompted them to drink more.
The data has led to today’s launch of a reflective new video campaign showing children imitating the behaviour of some parents during online iso-video chats. Alcohol dominates the kids’ conversation, with one innocently claiming he’s been “sucking the guts out of a few cold ones”, another boasting “oh yeah, got myself a slab”.
The video is part of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s ‘You haven’t been drinking alone’ community health initiative which has been developed to encourage parents of school-aged children to consider how their drinking may have changed during lockdown, the impact it may be having on their health and how they may be inadvertently influencing their children’s attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol.
“The past couple of months have been really stressful for parents and video catch ups have become a key-way for people to connect with friends and families,” said Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO, Dr Erin Lalor AM.
“While video catch ups have played an important role in addressing social isolation, a by-product has been bringing the pub into many Australian homes, with kids listening or watching.
As social distancing measures continue to ease, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation is encouraging parents to be mindful of how they have been drinking during isolation and the role it can play in shaping their children’s attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol.
“There is a compelling body of evidence highlighting how parental behaviours and attitudes towards alcohol play one of the strongest roles in influencing children’s future behaviour towards alcohol. This is not something to be taken lightly.”
“We don’t want children learning to think alcohol is a healthy lifestyle choice or to view alcohol as a coping mechanism for feelings of stress, anxiety or boredom.”
“Parents can role model lower-risk behaviours around alcohol by drinking no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks on any day. We also encourage parents to show their kids that they don’t always need alcohol to relax, have fun, as a reward, or in every social situation,” Dr Lalor added.
The launch of today’s new video campaign comes off the back of a YouGov poll conducted by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation in mid-May, which revealed more than one in four (29%) parents of school-aged students have increased their alcohol intake since the outbreak of coronavirus, with 20% consuming alcohol in front of their children daily or every other day.
For further information on the ‘You haven’t been drinking alone’ campaign, visit https://adf.org.au.