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Germans consumed more alcohol during the coronavirus crisis than before. Jörg Graf, our university’s Commissioner for Substance Abuse, would like to raise awareness of this. In a recent, non-representative online survey conducted by the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim in cooperation with Klinikum Nuremberg, 37 per cent of the 3000 respondents stated that they consumed “more” or even “much more” alcohol during the coronavirus period. In June, the “Deutsches Ärzteblatt” plublished a medical report detailing how the COVID-19 pandemic has been an ideal breeding ground for smoking and alcohol addiction.

If you reflect on the recent period, have you noticed a similar increase in your drinking habits? What does alcohol consumption mean to you? When, where and why do you drink alcohol at all – and above all, how much? – Graf addresses these questions to the staff of our university. This is because the situation, which was and still is highly challenging, has been characterised by employees working at home and having to look after their children at the same time, by a lack of social support due to contact restrictions, and by the resulting dual burden on people.

The study mentioned above cites several risk factors as one reason for the increase in the consumption of addictive substances. “Some examples of this include stress caused by moving from the workplace to working from home, a high perceived level of stress, and doubts about whether the crisis is being managed well,” said Graf. He added that new demands, such as organising a new daily structure, a new way of dealing with stress and the search for a suitable balance despite a restricted environment, have come to the fore.

“I assume that there are also colleagues among us who fear that the growing challenges at work can only be counteracted by increasing their consumption of addictive substances. Or others are worried about a colleague and their families for precisely this reason,” said the Commissioner for Substance Abuse. Anyone who ever feels that they are not in control of their relationship with addictive substances can contact the University’s substance abuse team. “We see ourselves as a point of contact for employees who may be struggling with addiction; we support, offer impartial, individual and confidential advice; and we act as a link between those affected, the employer and the professional addiction services and support organisations.”


Jörg Graf
Phone: +49 341 97-39999
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