We’ve all heard the saying “Go hard or go home” on a night out on the town but what if instead you choose to go hard at home? Social distancing regulations means regular excursions to bars and restaurants have transformed into at-home happy hours on the couch for many. After all, it’s far easier to take a trip to the fridge for another beer as compared to going out to drink – and cheaper too. While you might not love having to spend every night indoors, your wallet certainly does! If you add up the cost of each night out per month, each overpriced cocktail and artisan craft beer contributes more than you might think to your bank statement…
DrugAbuse.com, provider of drug and alcohol treatment resources and programs, conducted a survey of 3,000 Americans to find out if they have been drinking more during lockdown than they did pre-pandemic. It was found that 23% of Michiganders admit they have been drinking more since lockdown began, as it’s cheaper than going out to a bar or restaurant. This is perhaps unsurprising considering you might pay $1 for a beer from the liquor store vs. $5 for the same beer at a restaurant or bar.
Across the U.S., Rhode Islanders topped the at-home happy hour charts with 43% admitting they are drinking more now than before lockdown due to it being cheaper than going out. Comparatively, only 16% of Oregonians admitted to this.
Adding to the convenience factor of drinking at home as compared to going out, your fridge is most likely nearer in proximity than your closest bar! For this reason, it’s no surprise that 28% of Americans drink more alcohol on a night at home during lockdown than if they went out.
It also appears that after lockdown, streets may be far emptier than before considering 79% of Americans say even once bars are open, they would prefer to stay in and socialize with friends from now on. On top of the fear that comes with being in a public space, this could also have to do with the harsh economic hit that the pandemic has had on a national scale. Over half (54%) of Americans say they will be more conscious of the high cost of alcohol in bars and restaurants once they have reopened.
A big night out comes with additional stresses, such as keeping an eye on your wallet, phone and keys, and how you will make your way home afterwards. In fact, 34% of Americans who drink say the biggest benefit of drinking at home as compared to a bar is that there is no need to worry about getting back once the night is over. This was followed by drinking at home allows people to save money (32%) and is more relaxing (15%) than being out and about. In addition, 10% of people say that being able to select their own music is the best part of a night in, and a further 9% say it’s because they don’t have to adhere to a closing time.
“While drinking at home may be cheaper than a night out at the bar, it is also easy to go overboard with binge drinking since access to alcohol may be conveniently located in your home. If you or someone you know is confined to your home during this pandemic, it’s important to be mindful of drinking habits. The line between drinking for enjoyment and drinking excessively can easily be crossed, especially when you know you are spending less to do so and can lead to alcohol dependence,” says Brittney Morse, MA, LAACC (a licensed advanced alcohol and drug counsellor).
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