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Alcohol Use and Abuse during the Coronavirus: Type COVID-19 Outbreak

Alcohol consumption is on the rise as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues. Due to the “new” and stressful nature of our daily indoor living restrictions, pay attention to these alcohol abuse warning signs to protect your or a loved one’s health.

April 02, 2020 | HF Healthy Living Team

Alcohol may seem like an immediate stress reliever, but it can be harmful to your overall health and well-being when consumed in excess. And, since alcohol is a depressant, both physically and mentally, those already prone to depression or sadness may find those feelings exacerbated by drinking.*

Try using other stress-relieving outlets like walking, staying virtually connected with friends, or taking up a new indoor hobby or craft instead of having a drink. It doesn’t take long for the body to become addicted to drinking alcohol, even in a short period of time.

What’s the difference between abuse and alcoholism?

Alcohol abuse does not cause a physical dependency, but it is still a serious issue that can be brought on by things like stress at home or work, a traumatic experience, or other similar experiences.

Alcoholism, or alcohol dependency, is a disease that causes a loss of control when drinking, strong cravings for alcohol, an increased tolerance to feel the same effect, and withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol is an addictive substance. Be mindful of your alcohol use and always pay attention to how much you’re drinking.

Click on the images below to find out the most common warning signs of alcohol abuse now.

Woman sittign on couch with her head in her hands while children run by
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Avoiding Day-to-Day
Responsibilities

 

Woman sittign on couch with her head in her hands while children run by
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If alcohol use has become a problem in your or a loved one’s life, you may notice that basic day-to-day responsibilities are getting left behind. With the overwhelming tasks as a stay-at-home parent, worker, or care taker, it may seem like a good idea the moment to have a drink or two, but too many drinks could lead to poor work performance, children’s failing grades, an unkempt house, unhappy family members, and more.

 

Man in his car taking a breathalyzer test
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Impaired Judgment that
Leads to Risky Decisions

 

Man in his car taking a breathalyzer test
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Having a drink or two can lead to impaired judgment. And, it’s important to keep your wits about you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to ensure you’re adhering to social distancing and personal space recommendations. Don’t risk inviting your neighbors over (physically) to join you in your house for a few drinks or cocktails. This should be avoided to help stop the spread of the virus.

 

Woman with a glass of red wine looking out a window
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Short-Term Memory
Loss or Blackouts

 

Woman with a glass of red wine looking out a window
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Whether it’s over one night or several years, heavy alcohol use can lead to lapses in memory.* Short-term memory loss or blackouts are two common symptoms of alcohol abuse. If you wake up after a night of drinking, and feel you can’t remember certain periods of time when you were drinking, you should talk to your doctor. Especially now when doctor and hospital availability is low due to coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, refrain from drinking if you experience these symptoms.

 

Man with his head in his hands looking at a piece of paper
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Other Health Problems

 

Man with his head in his hands looking at a piece of paper
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Alcohol abuse can lead to health problems, including, but not limited to, liver trouble, heart failure, intestinal issues, and changes in behavior. During this national health crisis, it is of utmost importance to be in optimal health now and in the future to ensure you can take care of yourself and your loved ones living with you. A drink or two during the week is fine (for most people in good health), but it may not be a good idea for those who have underlying health issues.

 

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Drinking to
Solve a Problem

 

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If you or a loved one is drinking to feel “normal,” get a better night’s sleep, or to handle problems, you may be at risk of alcohol abuse. If you or a loved one displays signs of alcohol abuse, check out some free resources and services to get help.

 

*C. Vaile Wright, director of clinical research and quality in the Practice Directorate for the American Psychological Association

 

© 2020 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“How Alcohol Is Linked to Memory Loss,” Healthline. Accessed April 3, 2020
https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/alcohol-and-memory-loss#symptoms

“As pandemic and stay-at-home orders spread, so does alcohol consumption,” The Washington Post. April 2, 2020.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/as-pandemic-and-stay-at-home-orders-spread-so-does-alcohol-consumption/2020/04/02/ad41bc3c-7430-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html

“Warning Signs of Alcoholism,” Department of Mental and Substance Abuse Services. Accessed March 30, 2020.
https://www.hhs.gov/programs/prevention-and-wellness/mental-health-substance-abuse/index.html

“Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse,” Medline Plus. Accessed March 30, 2020.
https://medlineplus.gov/alcoholismandalcoholabuse.html

“Alcohol and Drug Use,” NYC Health. Accessed March 30, 2020.
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/alcohol-and-drug-use.page

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