The public health crisis caused by COVID-19 continues to adversely affect many individuals both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, fear, isolation, financial insecurity, boredom, and worry over their own health or the health of others has pushed some to increase their use of alcohol.
Nielsen, a well-known consumer research organization, reports a 27% rise in alcohol sales since March, the month many state stay-at-home orders became effective. According to Nielsen data, spirits, hard seltzers, and inexpensive beer make up the greatest spikes in sales.
Getting alcohol is easy, no thanks to numerous online ordering options. E-commerce alcohol sales are up 234 percent from a year ago, according to Nielsen.
Online apps allow you to order beer, wine, and liquor for delivery directly to your home. One such app, Drizly, reported a 300 percent rise in sales in March, which they say is mostly due to new buyers.
Financial concerns during COVID-19 have spiked a big increase in the sale of less costly beer. In fact, the demand has been so great, many breweries have raced to increase production levels to keep up.
Better Ways to Handle Stress
Drinking may be making you more vulnerable to COVID-19. Even short-term use of excessive alcohol can weaken your immune system, cause sleep disturbances, and make you more susceptible to illness and disease.
Instead of turning to alcohol to relieve stress, consider the following options.
- Mindfulness and meditation. Check out Healthline’s 14 Mindfulness Tricks to Reduce Anxiety and Best Meditation apps.
- Learn something new. Take an online class through Great Courses, or for free on YouTube.
- Stay connected with friends and family online. Here are 8 Free Apps to Help You Stay Connected During Coronavirus.
- Volunteer to help others. Check in with neighbors living alone. Offer to pick up supplies for those unable to do so.
- Commit to healthy living. Exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, get sufficient sleep, and spend time on activities that you enjoy.
- Find time for your mental health. Access mental health resources through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links.
- Seek out support. If you’re in recovery or want information about recovery resources, see SAMHSA virtual recovery links. You can also contact a reputable treatment program like Turning Point of Tampa for a free, confidential conversation about your needs.
A Message From Dr. Singh, MD, FASAM
Dr. Hardeep Singh, psychologist and Medical Director at Turning Point of Tampa, discusses the rise in sales of alcohol, addictive substances, and comfort foods during the pandemic. Dr. Singh also explores why those struggling with substance use should be proactive in reaching out to loved ones to lessen the pandemic’s effects on our mental well-being:
To increase your chances of remaining physically and mentally healthy both during and after COVID-19, stay connected with loved ones, commit to a healthy lifestyle, keep your mind and body active and practice stress management techniques. And, perhaps most importantly, never hesitate to seek help if you need it.
Turning Point of Tampa has been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.