There has been a particular rise in alcohol consumption during the pandemic compared to the last two decades. Deaths from misuse of substances like alcohol have also increased among different demographic groups. The overall rate of alcohol misuse has inclined during the pandemic, with studies showing increased abuse among women than men. The researcher notes that alcohol causes significant deaths. It is a major cause of physical injuries, fatalities, self-harm, violence, and motor vehicle accidents. The main reason for this is because alcohol is legal in society. The media only shows us the type of alcohol consumed in family gatherings and casual outings. We rarely get a glimpse of the long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption, nor do we see the dangers of alcohol abuse.
An increase in alcohol consumption has been experienced in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. There have been concerns of women consuming high quantities of alcohol, making them more likely to develop chronic diseases like cancer or suffer accidental injuries. Many people engage in alcohol misuse due to economic and social stressors like declining incomes, unemployment, poverty, and family breakup. In some communities and countries, there have been explicit and structural racism cases that minimize economic opportunities.
Some are also misusing alcohol during the pandemic because of increased stress. Many people report that when they experience extreme stress, they consume more bottles of alcohol compared to the days when they are not stressed. More people are drinking more to curb pandemic stress.
Effects of High Alcohol Consumption
The rate at which people are consuming alcohol is alarming. They also have a high chance of developing alcohol disorder- the inability to stop alcohol consumption even when it causes risks and harms. A group of physicians conducted a survey and found out that a bigger group of those abusing alcohol are parents with children engaged in remote schooling.
Women are also included in the group as they seem to be burdened with child care due to school closures. They are also drinking due to isolation and domestic violence that has increased dramatically during the pandemic. Scientists are worried about the effects of alcohol on the consumer and its impact on families and society.
There is also an increase in the number of alcohol-related deaths. Men account for two percent of the deaths, while women are at four percent. Mortality rates are high among middle-aged people, while there is an increase in the misuse of drug substances like opioids among the youth.