The pandemic changed the way we live and how we cope with stress, and more Americans have turned to alcohol.
“The jump from normal drinking to abnormal drinking to excessive drinking can take weeks and for some people, that can take days,” said addiction expert Dr. Bankole Johnson.
A startling new study found alcohol-related deaths increased by 25% during the pandemic. Federal researchers used death certificates to determine that drinking-related deaths rose from 79,000 pre-pandemic to about 99,000 in 2020.
“Alcohol use is a very easy and accessible way for us to kind of cope and it's socially condoned,” said Michelle Dubey, Chief Clinical Officer at Landmark Recovery.
The pandemic has made it even easier to get our groceries and even alcohol delivered with a push of a button or a click on a mouse—which can make it harder to stop.
“The only alcohol consumption that has no risk is zero consumption,” said Health Economists, Carolina Barbosa.
Alcohol-related deaths are one of the hidden tolls of this pandemic. The study said among the reasons for the increase, beyond stress drinking, and self-medicating depression, a relapse of recovering alcoholics as people’s access to treatment was also disrupted.