January 22, 2021
It’s no secret that many people use alcohol to cope with stress. The ramifications surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have affected people around globe. We are all feeling the stress of the new world we have been living in for almost a year now. People are spending more time at home which has led to increased isolation, depression, and marital conflict. Schools have gone to virtual or hybrid environments which impacts parenting and work. And losses of jobs and income are creating financial stress.
Studies have shown that alcohol consumption increases within 12 months of a major disaster – and COVID-19 is proving to have had this effect. In case you had any doubt about the combination of stress and drinking, listen to this fact: stores sold 54% more alcohol in late March 2020 as compared to the year before. Online sales more than doubled.
In October of 2020, the CDC published a report showing alcohol-related deaths on the rise in the United States. Americans are drinking 14% more often during the pandemic. That can be a huge problem for everyone – people who were already drinking too much to begin with, people who were borderline drinking too much, and people who are suddenly drinking more than they used to.
During arguably one of the worst years most of us have lived through, hardly anyone is thinking about starting the new year off ‘dry.’ Instead, the only thing most of us are thinking is, When will this end?
So it’s more important than ever to check in with your drinking. Otherwise, it’s just adding a problem (substance use disorder) to another problem (a pandemic).
Someday, this pandemic will end. Life will return to normal – or as close to normal as we know it. What won’t go away? A substance use disorder that developed or worsened during this time.
What role does alcohol play in your life? You don’t have to judge yourself, but you do have to be honest with yourself. Don’t just tell yourself you’re only having one glass of wine when you know it’s a heavy pour. Keep track of how much you drink and when. Do you reach for a glass of wine after having a tough day? Do you feel like you have to end the night with a few beers to get to sleep? When alcohol is the solution to a problem, it’s likely that alcohol is the problem.
If you find your drinking or drug use has gotten out of control or you suspect you may have a problem, Recovery Centers of America at Devon or Recovery Centers of America at Lighthouse can help. RCA’s full continuum of care including detoxification, residential inpatient, and in-person outpatient or telehealth treatment services will ensure you get the help you need to conquer your addiction and live a life in recovery. Call today. 844-634-0770.