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Kent State study finds that alcohol consumption among college students has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic

The study analyzed the amount and frequency of college students' drinking habits.

KENT, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a story published on September 29, 2020. 

People are drinking more this year, that's for sure. 

According to a new study from Kent State University's School of Public Health, college students are drinking even more than they typically do, though. 

The study, led by William Lechner, Ph.D., and Derric Kenne, Ph.D., focuses on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the alcohol consumption of college students.

RELATED: Taking care of kids' mental health during the pandemic

“We believed going into this that drinking would have increased in college students due to COVID-19,” Lechner said. “We also believed that those with vulnerabilities would be more susceptible to the temptation of alcohol consumption.”

The study, which analyzed data from 1,958 students who were enrolled during the 2020 spring semester, specifically looked at the amount and frequency of their drinking habits before and during the pandemic. 

The pair's research not only indicated that consumption was up among students in general, but that those without access to health services were more at risk for high levels of drinking.

RELATED: Four Ohio businesses cited for violating state COVID-19 health orders

"Together, these findings highlight the need for universities to offer services and programs to students that will minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors in order to reduce or prevent alcohol abuse during the coronavirus pandemic," the study's abstract says.  

The study also found that students who do have access to a support system and mental health system were also more likely to drink more, but less than those without access.

RELATED: What are you most thankful for this year? Tell us!


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