Alcohol Study

Millennium Health Study Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence Highlights COVID-19, Seasonal and Regional Influences on Alcohol Consumption

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – October 5, 2021 – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., with over 95,000 deaths every year due to alcohol-related causes.1

The results from the latest study by Millennium Health, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, suggest that alcohol use is influenced by multiple factors and increased in the study’s health care population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Millennium Health study analyzed the results of 2,000,000 unique patients, from urine specimens collected between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2020 in all
50 states, and found:

  • 16.73% were positive for alcohol
  • Those most likely to test positive were male patients, 45-64 years old, and from a primary care clinical setting
  • A small but significant increase in alcohol positivity was noted during the COVID-19 timeframe
  • Alcohol use is influenced by multiple factors, including season; positivity was highest in the summer and lowest in the winter

Yearly US National and Regional Marginal Probability Estimates

© 2021 Millennium Health, LLC. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. No changes to the figure were made.

“We used our national database of definitive UDT results to help identify factors influencing alcohol use in patients presenting to a healthcare facility,” says Kelly Olson, PhD, Director, Clinical Affairs and lead author of the study.

“Knowing these characteristics and monitoring for alcohol use can help identify those at increased risk, provide an opportunity to intervene, and help improve clinical decision-making.”

The Drug and Alcohol Dependence study can be accessed here. 


About Millennium Health
Millennium Health is an accredited specialty laboratory with over a decade of experience delivering timely, accurate, clinically-actionable information through our nationwide medication monitoring and drug testing services. Clinical drug testing is used in various healthcare settings to obtain objective information about patients’ recent use of prescription medications and illicit drugs. Processing over a million specimens each year allows us to provide real-time analytics regarding emerging drug use trends, such as our studies published in JAMA and our most recent Millennium Health Signals Report™.

Media Contact
Jody Schneider
Millennium Health
(619) 917-6810



  1. Deaths from Excessive Alcohol Use in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Accessed September 23, 2021