“Emotional drinking” during quarantine by COVID-19 in Chile: the role of depressive symptoms on problematic alcohol consumption

Mahaira Reinel, Yamil Quevedo, Cristóbal Hernández, Viviana Miño, Andrés Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To assess the pattern of alcohol consumption in the Chilean adult population in association with depressive symptoms in the context of the COVID-19 quarantine. Methods: A correlational and transversal study was conducted. Alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms were measured through an online survey, including the PHQ-9 Chilean version and the item banks for alcohol use of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). Mediational analysis models were conducted to assess whether the relationship between depressive symptoms and problematic drinking was mediated by drinking to cope with negative emotions. Results: 32% of the sample reported depression, 84% acknowledge having been drunk during the previous 30 days and 18% acknowledge an increase in the amount of alcohol use. The presence of depressive symptomatology positively predicts problematic alcohol consumption during the quarantine; however, when it includes analyzing the reasons for drinking alcohol, this relationship becomes negative and shows a significant mediation effect in the relationship between depressive symptomatology and problematic drinking through increased drinking to control negative emotions. Conclusion: The findings suggest that during quarantine, the increase in problematic drinking is related to depressive symptoms associated with an increased urge to drink to cope with negative emotions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-177
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Emotional drinking
  • alcohol consumption
  • depressive symptoms
  • quarantine


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