The Dangers of Alcohol Consumption During the Pandemic
According to a recently published study, the rate of alcohol consumption has risen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been many negative outcomes outside of the virus that has taken place across the world. An increase in substance abuse has been just one of the unintended symptoms of the response to the pandemic. When it comes to alcohol the study indicates that women in specific are drinking more. The rate of consumption in 2020 increased by 3% when compared to the numbers in 2019. Heavy drinking was particularly prevalent as it was up in women by 41%.
The data that was used in the study came from the RAND Corporation American Life Panel. There were 1,540 adults surveyed in the study. Not only did studies like this reflect an increase in alcohol use, but likewise, alcohol sales also showed the same trends. A Nielson survey showed that when the pandemic took hold in March, alcohol sales were up by 54%. According to experts, when life is uncertain and people feel duress, alcohol is a common method of coping, despite its health implications.
The Effects of Alcohol During the Pandemic
Chronic alcohol abuse is not a healthy practice regardless of a pandemic. During the pandemic, though, if the increase is due to people struggling with negative emotions this can cause yet another far-reaching public health crisis. Additionally, if increased numbers of individuals who are experiencing pessimism and lacking confidence in the future are using alcohol to get by they may also engage in other high-risk activities in addition to leaving them open to other deleterious health outcomes.
With the increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic, the World Health Organization has warned that these individuals would be more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. The reason for this is that alcohol wreaks havoc on the immune system. If the immune system isn’t as strong as it can be, it will be very difficult for the body to fight off infection and foreign invaders.
A person that is increasing their alcohol intake is also more vulnerable to making poor decisions they otherwise would not have made. This even truer when that same person is dealing with emotional turmoil. Therefore, engaging in irresponsible behavior may be more likely. For example, driving after a binge-drinking session may not be what someone would have normally done, but given the current circumstances may consider it. Drinking and driving is a widespread problem in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that each day there are approximately 30 people that will die in an alcohol-related crash. What this means is that every 50 minutes a life is lost at the hands of a drunk driver. The monetary losses and destruction of lives from drunk driving in the United States are massive. For instance, in 2010 drunk driving crashes cost the country well over $40 billion.
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