Drinking Is Not Recommended by Experts During Coronavirus
When statewide shelter in place orders were put into effect throughout the United States in recent months, alcohol sales skyrocketed. Numerous press agencies have reported the increase in alcohol sales in the U.S. from stores and online. The jump in sales is partially due to panic buying and stockpiling. However, people generally are drinking more during the pandemic for several reasons. Fear, stress, boredom, fewer responsibilities like going to work every day or school, as well as many persons using the stay at home orders as an excuse to drink more.
The Associated Press, AP, interviewed Danelle Kosmal, vice president of the renowned market research firm Nielsen Corporation about the spike in alcohol sales. Kosmal attributes the growth mainly to stockpiling, while other experts have more significant concerns about the effects of alcohol on health and affecting judgment and behavior. The AP’s interview reveals that alcohol store sales increased by more than 50 %, and online sales jumped above 200% increase in sales of alcohol.
U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Spirits like tequila, gin, and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales. Nielsen said online alcohol sales were up 243%. (Associated Press)
Drinking During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The World Health Organization, WHO has pointed out repeatedly in recent days how drinking alcohol even moderate consumption of alcohol will weaken a person’s immune system and make them more susceptible to catching COVID-19. Additionally, the WHO reminds people how drinking alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions and typically causes people to make poor choices and behave differently and not safe. The WHO has also recommended that restrictions be put into effect on how much alcohol consumers can buy. To date, in the United States, stores that sell alcohol are considered an essential business and remain open.
The primary concerns about people drinking alcohol more than usual during the coronavirus pandemic are first about it weakening their immune system, second how the effects of alcohol lower good judgment, and can more easily cause violence to occur. The WHO has also debunked fake news about how drinking alcohol will protect people from the virus.
At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviors, mental health issues, and violence. WHO/Europe reminds people that drinking alcohol does not protect them from COVID-19 and encourages governments to enforce measures that limit alcohol consumption. (WHO)
For alcoholics and others who drink excessively, the shelter in place orders also exacerbates isolation, which is a known indicator that someone has a problem with drinking. To prevent feeling isolated, which can lead to drinking more heavily, it is suggested to stay in contact every day with friends and family, as well as heading outdoors to exercise while practicing social distancing. For non-alcoholics, these suggestions should help and remind them how important it is to drink less during the COVID-19 pandemic, not more.
For alcoholics, the pandemic and stay at home orders are most likely giving them even more reasons to drink heavily and alcoholically. In general, alcoholics struggle with isolation, depression, anxiety, and lack of coping skills on how not to drink. Without help on how to cope with loneliness, depression, anxiety, or learning coping skills, alcoholics are likely going to get worse and will face tough times. The good news is that there are programs that are available to help alcoholics during the coronavirus crisis.
Get the Help You Need for Alcoholism
The alcoholism treatment programs that are available at treatment centers, which are considered essential businesses and remain open, have put into place specific and rigorous health and cleaning protocols to stay open while helping alcoholics recover from their disease. If you or a loved one cannot stop drinking and need help, please call one of our alcoholism treatment specialists. Our specialists will connect you or your family member to the very best alcohol treatment program available in your area today.