I have friends and family members who seem to be drinking more than usual lately. Is it my imagination or is there evidence to show that people are drinking more since the pandemic started?
Good question! I’m not an addictions expert or a therapist, so I did a bit of digging. I wanted to give you facts, not opinion. This is what I found.
Nielsen, a leading research agency, reports that alcohol sales in stores were up 54% in late March compared to the same time last year, while online sales were up nearly 500% percent in late April. Apparently, higher alcohol consumption isn’t just your imagination. However, keep in mind that bars were closed during this time.
Wondering what it would look like if your friends were drinking moderately?
According to the American Heart Association, quoting from federal dietary guidelines, “moderate” alcohol consumption means one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
What Constitutes One Alcoholic Drink?
The definition of a drink is 5 fluid ounces of wine, 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled liquor, or 12 fluid ounces of regular beer.
The American Heart Association emphasizes that excessive drinking (beyond the guidelines) can increase the risk for liver disease, obesity, breast cancer, depression, suicide, accidents and a wide range of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and heart attack.
Experts generally agree that people who are alcohol-dependent have compromised immune systems, reducing the body’s ability to fight off infectious diseases such as COVID-19. The more you drink, the higher your risk.
Why the Increase in Drinking Now?
Want to help your family/friends? Show them this list.
Pros for drinking less:
- To improve health
- To improve relationships
- To avoid hangovers
- To do better at work or school
- To save money
- To lose weight or get fit
- To meet your personal standards
The following cons are likely to be presented:
- I’d need another way to unwind
- It helps me feel more at ease socially
- I wouldn’t fit in with my friends
- Change is hard
- Drinking is one of the few pleasures in my life right now
- So much has been taken away, I’m not willing to give this up too
I hope this answers your question and sheds some light on alcohol consumption.
Mershon Niesner is a Certified Life Coach and author of “Mom’s Gone, Now What? Ten Steps to Help Daughters Move Forward After Mother Loss” which is available on Amazon and Sunshine Booksellers. For more information visit www.mershonniesner.com. Email your coaching questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your identity will be kept confidential.