Mental Health

National Survey of Alcohol Consumption in harmful and dependent drinkers following the COVID Outbreak

Study Design:

Cross-sectional survey

Disease Area:

Mental Health


University of Hull, King’s College London, University of Kent

Chief Investigator:

Professor Thomas Phillips, Professor of Nursing (Addictions)



The outbreak of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19 pandemic) has resulted in significant social restrictions from 23rd March 2020 in an attempt to reduce transmission. It is widely accepted that harmful and alcohol-dependent drinkers are susceptible to lung diseases including pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which are among the severe complications of COVID-19. Public health messages have focussed on the avoidance and reduction of alcohol use as well as supporting changes in healthcare services to reduce community transmission of COVID-19. This study led by Prof Thomas Phillips, the University of Hull in collaboration with King’s College London and the University of Kent will examine the impact of these measures on adult harmful and dependent drinkers living in the UK, including the impact on treatment provision and help-seeking opportunities.

What we plan to do

All adults (≥18years) who have consumed alcohol in the last 12 months and living in the UK and who experience harmful drinking or alcohol dependence will be eligible to participate in a confidential online survey. Eligible participants will be asked to complete information related to; i) demographics, ii) use of alcohol and help-seeking before the lockdown iii) motivation to change drinking and quit attempts since the lockdown (including their experience of specialist service, if applicable), iv) the impact of restrictions on finances, alcohol, smoking, vaping, cannabis use, medications, and exercise and, v) COVID-19 symptoms. Those participating will be entered into a prize draw for three computer tablets (iPads). The primary aim will explore changes in alcohol consumption among those with harmful drinking or alcohol dependence since the implementation of social restrictions. A detailed exploratory analysis will be undertaken and where possible weighted using weights from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey and National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS).

What will we achieve?

Harmful and alcohol-dependent drinkers are a vulnerable group at risk of severe manifestations of COVID-19. This study will help to assess the impact of social restrictions on this group and inform future policy responses.


Study Information | Privacy Notice

Trial progress



Hull Health Trials Unit
3rd Floor AMB
University of Hull