Hungarians drank more alcohol with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, news portal Mandiner wrote halfway through the national Dry November anti-drinking campaign.
According to data from the National Tax and Customs Office (NAV), during the first two months of the pandemic in 2020, February and March, alcohol consumption rose by 75 and 50 percent, respectively, compared with the previous year.
“Dry November” is a campaign first launched six years ago by the Hungarian anti-substance abuse foundation Kék Pont (Blue Point), designed to reduce Hungarians’ alcohol consumption.
According to 2016 data by the World Health Organization (WHO), Hungary was 23rd on the list of the heaviest drinking countries in the world with 11.4 liters of alcohol equivalent, putting the country between Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
For the whole of 2020, alcohol consumption rose by 10 percent in Hungary compared with the last pre-pandemic year, 2019.
“Dry November can be a success because few people in Hungary are dealing with this issue. It would be time to start. We should wake up, because it is not right for our children to grow up with the whole family drinking, and then we are amazed that the whole country is knee deep in drink,” Blue Point campaign manager Ferenc Dávid told Mandiner.