Has the coronavirus pandemic affected Americans negatively, causing them to drink more as a way of coping with global uncertainty?

Studies show that within 12 months of a  major disaster in The United States, alcohol consumption increases by more than 35%. It makes sense that during the worldwide pandemic Covid-19, alcohol sales have increased by more than 50%. 

What does this statistic suggest? The stay-at-home orders are keeping us at home, and many people are turning to alcohol to cope with the anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness, and grief brought on by this current global crisis. Emerging zoom happy hours, day drinking, and the “5 o’clock somewhere” saying are becoming normalized as we develop new options for entertainment and new ways to deal with the difficult emotions brought on by the pandemic.

What are healthy drinking limits anyway? Women should restrict their alcohol consumption to one drink per day, and for men, two drinks per day. The stay at home order feels like an extended vacation for some, and others are experiencing a more relaxed schedule. In this environment, it is easier to accept and normalize drinking during the day and week. Drinking every day somehow no longer feels inappropriate or strange.

When healthy coping mechanisms like going to the gym, hanging out with friends, or frequenting entertainment venues like movies, museums, and performing arts are closed and unavailable, some people turn to alcohol consumption. During this pandemic, we, as a society, have replaced our healthy behaviors with alcoholic drinks and the tv remote.

With our feelings of anxiety and stress fueled by the uncertainty of losing our job and the loneliness of isolation, it’s not surprising that drinking has become a welcome reprieve. In addition, relapse and substance use has increased with the stay at home orders resulting in isolation and lack of support.

The problem with turning to alcohol for solace is that it can increase your risk of contracting COVID-19.  Alcohol compromises the immune system, increasing the risk of comorbidity and death in normal times let alone during a global pandemic. Alcohol also increases the risk of mental health, risky behavior, and maybe directly tied to the increase in domestic violence.

Coping with the uncertainty of unemployment, racial inequality, and deep divide in our United States, drinking a few glasses of wine or bottles of beer may sound like a good idea but it’s likely to make matters worse. It is never a good idea to lean on a mind-altering substance of any kind to cope with the emotions that arise resulting from the pandemic.

If you’re seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one, Healing Springs Ranch recognizes that addiction doesn’t only affect the person struggling with substance abuse, it affects everyone around him or her. You can overcome your addiction with help from our Texas rehab center. There’s no need to release control of your life to addiction, contact us, and let us get you on the road to recovery. Are you ready to change your life? Call Healing Springs Ranch today at 866-656-8384.

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