COVID-19 has brought with it many hardships; some anticipated, others unanticipated. One of them has been an increase in the struggle with substance use.
A recent study published in JAMA, "Changes In Adult Alcohol Use and Its Consequences during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US" shows that there has been a dramatic increase in alcohol consumption specifically during the 1st wave. The comparison data was as follows:
The first set of data was from 04/29/19-06/09/19, pre pandemic, which was then compared to 05/28/20-06/16/20. Average age range, adults 30-59 years. The study was based on surveys and alcohol sales.
1. Alcohol was consumed 1 time per day by month by 3/4 of adults
2. Women: 41% increase from baseline in heavy drinking
3. Adults aged 30-59: 19% increase
4. Non-Hispanic Whites:10% increase
5. Alcohol Related Problems: 39% increase
For those struggling or with loved ones struggling, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration is an invaluable and comprehensive resource. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides referrals to treatment facilities, support groups, and community based organizations for individuals with and without insurance. In addition, there is also a wealth of hotlines for both mental health and substance use and reading material.