Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of the people locked inside their homes have begun taking in new hobbies and activities to help alleviate the boredom and stress that came with the global crisis. Some have opted to relax by drinking glasses of wine or alcoholic beverages.
Too much alcohol
To some people, however, the increased amount of drinking could potentially be a more significant threat than the ongoing global crisis running rampant.
According to Know Ridge, a substance abuse researcher, Dr. Mariann Piano, said conclusive data is suggesting that people are consuming more alcoholic drinks than usual. The medical expert reiterated the risks that come with excessive drinking.
Nielsen, an analytics company that has been monitoring and studying international trends of consumers and goods, revealed that stores reported alcohol sales rose by 54% in late March compared to the same period last year and online sales in April going up by more than 500%.
A poll made by Morning Consult in early April showed that out of 2,200 adults, 16% revealed they had been drinking more than usual during the coronavirus pandemic and that the rates were higher among younger adults.
Among Millenials, one out of four said they had an increased intake of alcoholic beverages, which is also what one out of five Gen Xers stated.
Experts believe that increased drinking comes from a variety of factors, including weight and gender.
Generally, what is considered moderate alcohol consumption if taking one to two drinks per day for males and one drink per day for females, as written in federal dietary guidelines. The guidelines also state that binge drinking is when a man drinks five or more in one day or when a woman takes at least four drinks per day.
Piano said that some people were surprised at the amount that was considered binge drinking, saying it was already the amount they were taking every night. The researcher is also a professor and associate dean at Vanderbilt University.
Effects of excessive drinking
Excessive drinking could result in an increased chance for liver disease and several other health risks if not controlled properly, as reported by Medical Xpress.
The researcher also noted that alcohol could produce harmful interactions if taken together with prescription drugs, dehydration, and lack of sleep. Piano stated it also adversely affects the functions of the brain, including memory, balance, and even rational thinking.
The expert noted the factors aid in the spread of coronavirus by reducing people's awareness of social distancing and guidelines. She said she had seen several bars that have completely neglected physical distancing where people were grouped tightly or leaning against each other.
Piano emphasized that individuals who were dependent on alcohol had compromised immune systems, which could lead to an increased risk amid the coronavirus pandemic. She noted the more one drinks, the higher the risk becomes.
Excessive drinking had recently seen a surge with the pandemic keeping people at home and causing never-before-experienced stress with concerns over careers, finances, and health.