To cope with pandemic-related stress, many people have been drinking more alcohol, raising concerns among health experts.
Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults say they drank more alcohol over the past year to cope with stress related to the pandemic. The finding was reported in a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association.
The results don’t surprise Tidelands Health family medicine physician Dr. Victor Archambeau, who practices at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Pawleys Island.
“We’re definitely seeing an increase,” says Dr. Archambeau, who overcame substance use dependency himself and now incorporates recovery into his medical practice.
The stress, boredom, isolation and uncertainty that many people felt during the height of the pandemic likely led to the increase in alcohol consumption, he says. And while consuming a periodic drink isn’t necessarily a concern, it can be easy to drink too much alcohol without recognizing that you have a problem.
Alcohol overuse can increase your risks for high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, stroke and liver disease. Cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety and insomnia are also potential side effects of heavy drinking.
Alcohol overuse can also have other consequences, including negative impacts on your relationships with others and your performance at school or work.
Warning signs that you may be consuming too much alcohol can include a preoccupation with drinking or increased cravings for alcohol.