Throughout the pandemic, American adults have suddenly increased the amount of alcohol being consumed per month. Specifically, the number of alcohol consumption in women has increased. A study was conducted by RAND corporation and supported by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, comparing alcohol consumption in 2019 compared to late 2020.
“Between 2019 and now during the pandemic, men and women both reported increasing the frequency of their binge drinking episodes, defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within a couple of hours. For women, that count rose by half”(Pezenik)From the ABC News article, “Alcohol consumption rising sharply during pandemic, especially among women”
Based on the outcomes, experts are concerned for the health of adults and their coping mechanisms. There are multiple explanations for this result, but the most probable reasoning is the effects on solidarity from the pandemic. Since the pandemic led to a lockdown, people are stuck at home, where distractions to reality are limited to their own home. Seeing the increase in alcohol consumption, it could be deducted that more people are using alcohol as a way to deal with their emotions and escape from reality.
This could be applied to other growing unhealthy coping mechanisms amongst all age groups during this pandemic. Since everyone is stuck at home, there is more alone time and more judgement for intrusive thoughts to take over. Handling these thoughts and emotions are difficult, but it is important to know healthy coping mechanisms. Some people enjoy going outside for fresh air and short walks, while others resort to creative activities or things that keep them busy to get their mind off those emotions. It is also important to be able to handle them properly and not bottle the emotions. This could cause unhealthy cravings (not just food cravings) and lead to worse long term outcomes, while thinking that something like alcohol could solve it in the short-run. Doing something you truly enjoy can be a healthy alternative rather than alcohol. The important message is to make sure you are in charge of your own body and making sure you are healthy, both mentally and physically.