Alcohol use increased during pandemic

Did you find that your alcohol use increased during the pandemic? You are not alone. Here’s how to cut back.

Dear Harriette:

I hurt myself the other night. I had been drinking rather heavily after having an argument with my husband, and when I stumbled into my room, I fell and hit my shoulder. When I woke up the next morning, I had a good-sized bruise. At first, I didn’t even remember why. I know that sounds terrible, but I was fine. The bruise is still healing, but I fear that I may have a problem. Nothing like this has happened before, but I have increased my drinking a lot in the past year during the pandemic. I don’t necessarily think I am an alcoholic, but I am finding it hard to stop. Advice?

Dear Put Down The Glass:

You are not alone. According to a government study reported in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, nearly two-thirds of the respondents said that their alcohol intake had increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors such as stress, boredom and availability of alcohol were suggested as reasons for this increase. What can you do?

Try again to stop. Make a plan for stopping, and see how far you can get on your own. Consider using this book to support your efforts: “The Alcohol Experiment: A 30-Day Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control” by Annie Grace. If you can stick to 30 straight days of sobriety, you may be able to clear your head well enough to see if your next steps are to continue or to seek help to support a change in your relationship to alcohol. Know that there is no shame in getting help. From talking to your primary care doctor to going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, help is available. Since your drinking — this time, anyway — seemed to be prompted by emotional distress at home, you should get help sorting through issues in your marriage as well.

Alcohol Use Increased During the Pandemic

Many people found their alcohol use increased during the pandemic and they are now looking for resources on how to cut back. This Naked Mind is an excellent way to get started. Download a free preview now!

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