This 1 activity increased by 19% each week during lockdown

Lockdown is something none of us were prepared for, and many still aren’t handling it well.

Whether it’s gone on longer than you anticipated, or you just don’t like being ‘stuck’ in your home, it’s causing negative effects for many, including increasing the amount of alcohol people consume.

Drink up

Researchers found that binge drinkers (people who already drank a lot) increased their alcohol consumption by 19% per week during the lockdown. 

For many, it makes sense that alcohol became their way of coping, but the drinking got out of hand for many. In the same study, researchers found that it wasn’t unusual for binge drinkers to consume as many as seven drinks in a 2-hour period during lockdown. 

For many, the binge drinking occurred to offset the feelings of loneliness while living solitary, even if they have a house full of people. There’s just something about being able to converse with people with a different last name, right?

The problems don’t stop there, though. People who normally drink (and even those who don’t) find themselves joining virtual Happy Hours over Zoom daily. It’s just another reason to drink, and like most people figure, ‘what else do they have to do?’

Here’s the problem.

While drinking may seem like fun and games right now and social media filled with memes about drinking alone, it’s a serious issue.

For many, it’s a way to avoid reality. The anxiety and depression lockdown caused in many is unbearable. As much as 53% of adults admitted that they had some sort of mental health issue during the pandemic. 

But alcohol isn’t going to help anxiety or depression. If anything, it will make it worse. It’s not new news that alcohol helps you feel better, but it’s temporary. As your blood alcohol level rises, your body slows down. Suddenly things don’t seem as bad. But it doesn’t last long. After an hour or so, the BAC leaves your system, and you’re left feeling worse than you did before.

But the scary statistics aren’t stopping people. Not only are they stocking up on toilet paper (we’re still trying to figure this one out), Lysol, and hand sanitizer, alcohol sales have soared. Most alcohol sales by category (wine, beer, liquor, etc.) rose at least 20% in each category during the pandemic. 

Social media isn’t helping matters

Even though staying in contact with friends and family via Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are great during a time like this, it’s also a time to try to ‘fit in.’

If you sift through social media, chances are you’ll see a majority of adults imbibing in alcoholic drinks. You probably figure, ‘If they do it, I can too, right?’ It’s the money-see-monkey-do mentality. 

If nothing else, social media and Zoom make you feel better about your drinking because you aren’t alone.

That’s not the answer, though. If you’re having a tough time in the lockdown, reach out for help. Call a friend or loved one, call a professional counselor, or call your doctor. Don’t assume alcohol can fix the issue because, in reality, it will make things worse.