Alcohol Use During Covid-19

Alcohol Use During Covid-19

For those who use alcohol to cope with outside stressors, a global pandemic increases their chances of developing a substance abuse disorder.

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For those who use alcohol to cope with outside stressors, a global pandemic increases their chances of developing a substance abuse disorder. Many people have experienced hardships and difficulties associated with Covid-19 and reports indicate that alcohol use is on the rise.

People report drinking for many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • To relax
  • As an escape
  • Boredom
  • To cope with stress
  • Sleep aid
  • Social lubricant
  • Deal with feelings
  • Loneliness

People struggling with alcohol abuse disorder are likely to experience any of a number of difficulties associated with the pandemic. Job loss, isolation due to social distancing, and a lack of ability to obtain treatment are all issues that could lead to an increase in alcohol consumption.

When there is an increase in alcohol consumption, the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder rises. This has contributed to increases in tolerance or needing more of the substance to obtain the desired effect. Prolonged use of alcohol affects the brain chemistry and creates a dependency. Alcohol hijacks the brain and adapts how the body copes with stressors by only feeling relief when alcohol is consumed.

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism the physical health risks associated with alcoholism may actually increase the risk of getting Covid-19. Excessive alcohol consumption can trigger an ineffectiveness of the immune system, inhibiting one's ability to fight viruses and bacteria.

Social distancing has caused feelings of loneliness and isolation. This can be particularly risky for someone who is in recovery or abusing alcohol. It is important to follow the guidelines on social distancing, however there are activities and ways to interact that could help during Covid-19.

For example: go for a walk, do yoga, read a book, virtually communicate with loved ones and friends, practice mindfulness, utilize online mutual aid groups and join online classes. These are all ways that a person can feel connected. Be sure to fill time with activities that you enjoy.

Finding treatment or alcohol rehab during the Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be very difficult, however seeking treatment and social support are incredibly effective ways to treat alcoholism.

Many treatment centers have been able to adapt by switching to an online platform to deliver online addiction treatment services. Online support and mutual aid groups have also formed. Having peer support and receiving education about alcoholism improves the potential of long term sobriety and recovery.

If you or a loved one need help for an alcohol addiction and want to know more about outpatient programs, or want to schedule an evaluation, feel free to contact Care Addiction Center. All calls are confidential: (630) 402-0144