Increased Alcohol Consumption Amidst the Pandemic Has Many Health Experts Concerned
The continued spread of COVID-19 has resulted in an uncertain future. Continued isolation, instability in the job market, and an ongoing health crisis have all been linked to an increase in alcohol consumption. Excessive drinking during stressful times can lead to additional health problems including depression, weight gain, and memory loss. Brad Lander, PhD, an addiction medicine specialist, with the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University recommends following the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for moderate drinking. According to the CDC, moderate drinking is no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks per day for men.
For some, however, even moderate drinking can have devastating consequences. Abstaining from alcohol during isolation can be difficult but it can be a lifesaver. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is finding a coping alternative. Alcohol is often used to cope with stress and anxiety. During COVID-19, more people than ever, are experiencing a heightened degree of distress whether it is from not being able to see family and friends or financial concerns, nearly everyone has concerns over what the future holds. Experts agree that depending on alcohol to ease concerns is unhealthy.
There are a number of other ways to manage fears including:
- Exercising and outdoor recreation
- Finding a support group
- Downloading a meditation app
- Learning a new skill or language
While the Coronavirus has limited some physical contact, it has not eliminated all social interaction. Staying connected is vital during these chaotic times. If you find it difficult to maintain sobriety, there are options for treatment including 24-hour alcohol monitoring through a SCRAM CAM device.