Alcohol Abuse During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is still keeping the world on lockdown. Humanity lives in isolation, and we’re slowly starting to see some consequences other than the rising death toll and the growing number of infected individuals.
As pandemics usually slow down and end on their own, we have nothing else to do but wait. And while we do that, many of us are trying to find ways to relax and have fun. Unfortunately, some of us are turning to alcohol abuse.
Aside from the fact that alcohol has negative effects on a person’s metabolism and overall health, some believe that drinking can prevent or even cure COVID-19. The World Health Organization went as far as warning countries to limit or completely prohibit the use of alcohol during the pandemic.
Giving people access to alcohol during the lockdown leads to reckless behavior, violence, and mental health issues. Unfortunately, certain groups of people find it hard to contain themselves during these difficult times.
The lockdown is troublesome as it is, but it’s even harder for former alcoholics. Many are used to physically attending AA meetings. Now, these meetings are taking place online. So during the lockdown, former alcoholics can, with a press of a button, close any online chat that was meant to help them sustain from drinking. This allows them to turn to alcohol for comfort.
Luckily, there are certain things former alcoholics can do to cope with these challenges:
- Drink more water
- Shift their focus to healthier activities, such as reading or playing games
- Try out video calls with a person that keeps them accountable
- Learn how to cook healthy meals
Extroverts are another group of people who suffer in isolation. Even though they are sometimes ridiculed through memes made by introverts, in reality, they need social contact to maintain better mental health.
Loneliness comes with many health issues, such as cardiovascular diseases, decreased memory, and learning difficulties. And since most coffee shops and restaurants are closed, extroverts have a hard time managing their loneliness. Therefore, they turn to excessive drinking.
Here’s how extroverts can channel their energy during the lockdown:
- Learn new skills
- Foster the relationship with their partner
- Learn more about themselves
Victims of Family Violence
Sadly, the lockdown enables a higher rate of family violence. Abusers are closer to their victims now more than ever, and their victims are prevented from running away. Those who inflict violence can now withhold money or items for personal hygiene, prevent their victims from contacting a doctor, and even infect them with the virus.
The victims of family violence feel as if they are under constant surveillance. Aside from physical torture, they are experiencing mental abuse, too. There’s nowhere to run, so the victims turn towards alcohol, in a desperate attempt to calm down.
Here’s what can be done:
- Reach out to the victims digitally
- Create code words that victims can use once they have the chance
- Lead public campaigns that help people identify domestic violence
- Donate to charities and shelters
The lockdown is hard for many of us out there. And while some of us didn’t have to drastically change our routine, many people are getting desperate. The fear and anxiety about the novel coronavirus make people resort to alcohol to calm their nerves.
For some, alcohol might seem like the only solution, but more can be done than just chugging down a bottle of vine. The Internet gives us a safe place to come together in these times of need. Let’s use it to our advantage.