Drinking in isolation

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation's ‘You haven’t been drinking alone’ campaign is designed to encourage Australian parents to consider the impacts that increased drinking during lockdown might be having on themselves and their children. Watch the full campaign video below.

drinking in isolation campaign image

After months of isolation and social distancing, Australian’s are drinking more.

That’s not healthy for anyone, but especially not for Australia’s kids, who may have witnessed their parents’ drinking habits change rapidly – partly out of boredom, but also as a way of coping with the stress of our new reality.

They’ve seen us turn the occasional mid-week wine or G&T after home schooling into a daily ritual. Many have played in the background of Zoom calls that are basically virtual pub tables, complete with drinking games. And some older kids may have noticed how dad or mum sometimes turn off the video on work calls because they have a drink in hand at 3pm.

The good news is that, just as we can pass on unhealthy habits and behaviours, we can also just as easily do the opposite – and quickly re-establish ourselves as positive role models by returning to a safe level of drinking.

And that’s important, because the attitudes to drinking that your kids take into adulthood come from one of the most important people in their lives.


Drinking calculator

If new drinking habits that started during lockdown continue over time, you could be at risk of developing an unhealthy reliance on alcohol. Try the quick Drinking Calculator to find out how your drinking measures up.

Parents as role models

Parents play a significant and powerful role in shaping their child’s beliefs and attitudes about alcohol, through their role-modelling of alcohol-related behaviours.

Role modelling alcohol consumption

For adults who choose to drink alcohol, role modeling lower-risk drinking behaviours can help delay a young person’s alcohol use and influence their approach to later alcohol consumption.

The impact of drinking on young people

Many parents are concerned about alcohol, as well as other drugs, as their children grow up, and for good reason. Young people are at greater risk of alcohol-related harm than adults.

Signs isolation could be impacting your drinking

As we continue to ride out COVID-19 (coronavirus), we need to be more mindful than ever of how much alcohol we are drinking at home and its impact on us and our loved ones.

A message from our CEO

On 22 May 2020, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation launched its ‘You haven’t been drinking alone’ campaign, encouraging Australian parents to consider the impacts that increased drinking during lockdown might be having on their children, and placing the issue on the public agenda.

YouGov Poll Data (May 14-17, 2020)

Two months into COVID-19 induced isolation, the ADF commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct a national poll to explore how Australia’s parents were coping with the pandemic.


Getting help

Help is always available.

There are many resources and support services available to you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Listed below are links to online support and mutual aid groups, mental health support, domestic violence services, telephone services and financial and legal services.

For free and confidential alcohol and other drug information or support, call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo email druginfo@adf.org.au.

National Alcohol & Other Drug hotline 1800 250 015