Americans have increasingly relied on alcohol to cope with the emotional turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new data.
Research published by Nielsen states that there has been a 54 per cent increase in the sales of alcohol since March 2020. The data also uncovered that 75 per cent of Americans increased their drinking by one drink a day.
Women were discovered to have increased their drinking more than men.
“Is it because of home-schooling? Uncertainty about the future? High pressure in more domains of life? Women were disproportionately affected by all things Covid-19. This is another way of showing the effects of that,” Lindsey Rodriguez, a psychologist at the University of South Florida, told the New York Times Magazine.
Rates of increased drinking among the Black community were also recorded by the survey.
Another survey by the American Psychological Association revealed that 25 per cent of Americans were upping their drinking to deal with pandemic-related stress in 2021.
“The isolation, as well as the fear and anxiety around the impact to our ability to meet basic needs, I think those two things have dramatically impacted people’s mental health and their use of maladaptive coping strategies like substances to alleviate those stressors,” said Rebecca Smith, social work administrator at Buncombe Health and Human Services, to the Asheville Citizen Times. “And those things have a ripple effect on people’s health and wellbeing, and that correlates a lot of times to neglect and abuse.”
The stressors prompting people to drink include worries about health, economic prospects and loneliness following the various social distancing measures. Alcohol can actually exacerbate these problems, however.
Other traumatic events in recent US history have caused people to turn to the bottle, such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.
The increase in alcohol consumption trend was not matched in other parts of the world as numbers show that Europeans decreased their drinking. This was true for every nation in Europe aside from the UK.
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