Dr. Kathryn Krase, associate professor of social work at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, has co-authored another COVID-19-themed paper, “Exploring Factors Associated with Alcohol and/or Substance Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” in International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction (Jan. 26, 2021). Her co-authors are Dr. Thalia MacMillan (SUNY Empire State College), Dr. Matthew J. Corrigan (Seton Hall University), Dr. Kevin Coffey (SUNY Empire State College), Dr. Christine D. Tronnier (Springfield College) and Dr. Donna Wang (Springfield College).

“This study,” according to Dr. Krase, “explored the relationship between alcohol and substance use in the general population during the early stages of COVID-19 as related to individual, family, and community stressors.” The authors did an online survey of adults who resided in the United States and Canada. They found that over one-third of the sample reported utilizing alcohol and substances as a means to cope during the pandemic. Further analysis of the data revealed that use of social media as a source of information, being personally affected by COVID-19, experiencing child care challenges and not being associated with a religious community were related to increased likeliness for alcohol and/or substance use.

“Overall, the findings from this study suggest that there is a need to assess use of alcohol and substances in all populations, particularly those not in a clinical setting,” noted Dr. Krase. “Use of alcohol and substances may represent a negative form of coping; the impact of personal or family stressors and/or a traumatic experience, such as the pandemic, may cause some individuals to utilize substances more than others. Practitioners are encouraged to assess who is at risk, especially those who have personal or family stressors.”

Read about other studies done by Dr. Krase releated to COVID-19.

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