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Sociologist quoted in 'Alcohol and Isolation' policy article

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 11:20am
Alan Flurry

A new article in Alcohol & Drug Abuse Weekly, from Wiley Online Library, tackles a particularly timely subject: Are people drinking more now that they are locked in a house with their nearest and dearest, facing job loss or having lost a job, bored and stressed? Probably. Is drinking a healthy way of coping? No.

The article includes comments by experts including Paul M. Roman, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, who provided historical background on availability and the context of alcohol sales in the context of essential businesses:

“Universal alcohol availability is a socially useful control valve in this time of uncertainty, and given the apparent number of people who are alcohol‐dependent (both functional and nonfunctional), I would not want to see what would happen if this supply line were suddenly shut,” said Paul M. Roman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Georgia. “The alcohol‐dependent need to assure their source of supply.”

Access to bars is limited, except for takeout (takeout drinks from bars used to be illegal, but now they are allowed), noted Roman, who is also associate editor of Substance Use and Misuse. “In my research, I have not used alcohol dependency measures for a long time, but at one time a strong predictor item was ‘fear of loss of supply’” of alcohol.

The article is available online.

Archival image of alcohol hoarding via

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