People turning to alcohol to cope during pandemic, experts say

North Carolina news

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A recent article from Medical News Today suggests many people are using alcohol as a way to “cope” with the pandemic.

Health experts suggest that many people turn to substances like alcohol when they’re stressed. Alcohol is considered a central nervous suppressant, meaning it can temporarily relieve feelings of stress or anxiety for a person. However, experts say alcohol impacts everyone differently.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Since the pandemic, alcohol sales have spiked. Forbes recently released data that online alcohol sales are expected to spike 80% this year alone in the United States. In this same data across 10 global markets (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, and the US), alcohol sales have increased 42% this year. To put that in perspective, 2019 saw just an 11% increase.

Clay Roberson is a program specialist at Port Health Services in Greenville. He is concerned with the spike in not only alcohol abuse but other substances he’s seeing during the pandemic.

“The more the pandemic goes on, we’re seeing a rise in general of alcohol use, but also other drugs,” said Roberson. “People are having problems and the connection. You know not having that face-to-face interaction is a concern because people aren’t really getting that face-to-face interaction that they need.”

As we wait for a vaccine, Roberson says finding ways to cope is important.

“Make sure you are eating well-balanced meals. Continue those exercise-type activities,” Roberson said. “Talk to people you know. Talk to individuals about how you’re feeling. Use those faith-based connections as well. Seek help, reach out to a mental health or substance abuse counselor.”

If you are someone struggling with addiction and seeking help, click click here.

More headlines from CBS17.com:

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories