Alcoholism, Social Isolation & COVID-19
Alcoholism has been a major public health concern for decades. Drinking beer, wine and liquor is deeply ingrained in American culture, and because alcohol consumption is socially acceptable in the vast majority of households and social circles across the country, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you are suffering from a diagnosable alcohol use disorder or simply taking things a bit too far on occasion. If you feel you might have been engaging in problem drinking before the pandemic, there is a good chance your alcohol consumption has increased even more since last year when the pandemic began. If this is the case, you’re not alone.
An article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine titled, “Alcohol Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Survey of US Adults” states: “By 20 April 2020, all but eight states had issued state-wide shelter-at-home orders requiring residents to stay home unless conducting ‘essential activities.’ Concurrently, many states relaxed their alcohol laws to provide economic support for restaurants and liquor stores. For example, in many states, adults could, for the first time, order beer, wine, spirits—and sometimes even cocktails—for curbside or home delivery. During the seven weeks between 1 March and 18 April 2020, there were large increases in alcohol sales in the U.S. Data from the week ending 21 March indicated that alcohol sales for off-premise locations (e.g., liquor stores) had increased by 54% and online alcohol sales had increased by 262% compared to sales data from the same week in 2019.”