Alcohol Consumption During A Pandemic

Written By Granite Recovery Centers
Clinically Reviewed By Cheryl Smith MS, MLADC

During times of stress, people often reach for alcohol. A substance long-relied upon for social relief, celebratory occasions, and for pleasure, it is also used as an escape mechanism, or to cope with difficult times, tiring days, or distressing situations. The latter scenarios are played out in all pockets of society—from mothers clamoring for their ‘wine-thirty’ after a long day with their kids, Wall Street financiers hitting the bar after work for whiskey sours, college students partying nonstop after finals week, to union workers gathering at a pub for beers after their shift is done. This socially accepted, popular way to unwind releases inhibitions and temporarily abates worry and anxiety from the day, week, month, or year. In cases of extreme use, these drinking patterns increase and evolve in severity, and problems begin to crop up. This is recognized as Alcohol Use Disorder, which wreaks havoc in the drinker’s life and for everyone around them.

So, naturally, in a year like 2020, faced with the blistering reality of the COVID-19 global pandemic, people are reaching for the bottle more often than not. There is considerable fear of the unknowns surrounding the virus, and it is a time unlike anything we have ever experienced. We don’t know when or if things will ever return to normal.

In order to better understand the dangers posed from indulging in a ‘quarantini,’ or recognizing trouble curtailing alcohol intake, we broke down why people are drinking so much right now, why it could lead to consequences, and what you can do if you or a loved one can’t stop.

During times of stress, people often reach for alcohol. A substance long-relied upon for social relief, celebratory occasions, and for pleasure, it is also used as an escape mechanism, or to cope with difficult times, tiring days, or distressing situations. The latter scenarios are played out in all pockets of society—from mothers clamoring for their ‘wine-thirty’ after a long day with their kids, Wall Street financiers hitting the bar after work for whiskey sours, college students partying nonstop after finals week, to union workers gathering at a pub for beers after their shift is done. This socially accepted, popular way to unwind releases inhibitions and temporarily abates worry and anxiety from the day, week, month, or year. In cases of extreme use, these drinking patterns increase and evolve in severity, and problems begin to crop up. This is recognized as Alcohol Use Disorder, which wreaks havoc in the drinker’s life and for everyone around them.

So, naturally, in a year like 2020, faced with the blistering reality of the COVID-19 global pandemic, people are reaching for the bottle more often than not. There is considerable fear of the unknowns surrounding the virus, and it is a time unlike anything we have ever experienced. We don’t know when or if things will ever return to normal.

In order to better understand the dangers posed from indulging in a ‘quarantini,’ or recognizing trouble curtailing alcohol intake, we broke down why people are drinking so much right now, why it could lead to consequences, and what you can do if you or a loved one can’t stop.

Please click here: Alcohol Consumption During Pandemic to read the complete article.

What to Know About Binge Drinking

By James Gamache

Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Alcohol has been around since ancient times. Its use has been traced back 10,000 years, when it was first consumed for its psychoactive effects. Today, it fuels a billion-dollar industry and is socially accepted almost globally, having become a major part of human recreation and consumption. 

While many things about this drug have changed in the last 10,000 years (like flavoring, alcohol content, and most definitely the packaging), some things about it remain the same. It is still a mind-altering substance, can affect the brain both long-term and short-term, and can be addictive. When consumed too often, in copious amounts, and recklessly, it can severely alter a person’s life, and the lives of those around them. 

One of the dangerous forms of alcohol use is binge drinking, which is drinking a large amount in a brief period. If a person makes this a habit, this pattern of abuse can eventually result in a serious addiction. 

Please click here: Alcohol Abuse and Binge Drinking to read the complete article.