Increased Alcohol Consumption During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

If you or someone you know has been drinking more during the global pandemic, you’re not alone. The COVID-19 crisis has created challenges for many people, which has caused some to turn to alcohol as a way of coping. There are several indicators that alcohol consumption has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. One indicator is alcohol sales. Outside of bars and restaurants, alcohol sales have risen by about 34% during the pandemic. Sales of spirits with a more concentrated alcohol content rose even more, by about 37%. While alcohol stores have largely stayed open, it’s notable that there has been a dramatic rise in online alcohol sales.

Another indicator is people’s self-reporting of their drinking habits. One study looked at a 30-day period in 2019 and another one a year later. Participants reported on the number of days they consumed alcohol over those periods. In 2019, the average response was 5.48 days, and in 2020, this number rose overall by 14%. The percentage was higher for women at 17%. This may not seem like a significant increase, but the study also found that, among women, there was a significant increase in episodes of heavy drinking, defined for women as having at least four drinks within a couple of hours. Women also reported a 41% increase in heavy drinking from the previous year’s baseline. These statistics make us question what link exists between drinking alcohol and the coronavirus pandemic.

There are many reasons why some people have consumed more alcohol during this time than they did in previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to issues and exasperated existing problems for many that can motivate them to drink, including:

● Stress and anxiety: The pandemic has been a source of stress for many. Maybe you’re worried about your health or the health of loved ones. Perhaps you’re anxious about your finances and how you’re going to make ends meet. Or maybe you’re dealing with difficult changes in family dynamics. For many people, the pandemic has brought these stressors and more. Anxiety and stress can lead some people to look to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

● Loneliness and depression: Other problems that motivate some people to drink include depression and loneliness — problems the pandemic has intensified significantly for many people. Stay-at-home orders have caused people to retreat from public life, and many people have also been isolated from family members and friends due to health concerns. Isolation can cause people to experience more severe depression and feelings of loneliness, which can lead them to alcohol.

● Boredom: Another aspect of staying home and being unable to enjoy activities like going to sporting events, the movies or out to dinner with friends is that you may experience boredom. The monotony of spending each day at home can lead some to turn to drinking as a way to add fun to their day or simply escape.

Many people have been using alcohol as a coping mechanism during this uniquely challenging time, but is drinking alcohol an effective coping mechanism? Alcohol is a depressant, which means it may make a person feel more relaxed temporarily. Alcohol can also provide a temporary boost in mood, providing an escape from negative feelings. These effects draw many people to drink, but they are fleeting. When a person drinks in excess, the lasting effects are negative. At the very least, a person who drinks too much is likely to experience a hangover, which can make them feel worse.

Drinking can also cause anxiety to worsen once the alcohol wears off. Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for hours up to a full day. Overall, alcohol is a poor coping mechanism. While many people turn to alcohol during times of crisis, other coping mechanisms like counselling, journaling, exercise and phone calls with friends are healthier ways of reducing stress, anxiety, loneliness, depression and boredom.

At UK Detox we work with a wide range of rehabilitation facilities and detox centres around the country to suit your needs and circumstances and provide home detox’s. We are a premier service with an extremely high success rate, offering addicts the opportunity to get clean and sober and live a successful life. We are living proof that it is achievable and now we are here to help you on your journey into recovery. Change your story, change your life.


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