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The Impact of Pandemic Related Stress on Alcohol Consumption

Posted by Soberman's Contributor on June 11, 2020 at 8:49 PM

Pandemic Stress

Stress is a concern that many share during the coronavirus pandemic. A survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education has shown that 9 out of 10 Americans, or 88%, are experiencing financial stress due to the pandemic.  

Alongside this concern are the rising amounts of alcohol being consumed by individuals to cope with both the pandemic and stress. According to a survey conducted by the The Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Learning Network 22% of all respondents have increased their alcohol consumption.

How Stress Affects The Alcohol Consumption of Individuals

Stress is a regular occurrence in a person’s day to day life. The way each person responds to stress will be different. These are called coping mechanisms and can range from excessive sleep, to extreme eating, to voluntary isolation, and more. However, one of the most dangerous coping mechanisms for stress is the intake of alcohol, due to the problems it can cause for individuals as their intake increases.

Research was conducted by the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism in order to prove the increase in alcohol consumption of stressed individuals. The findings of the study show that both placebo and ethanol groups consumed more alcohol and had a greater chance of relapsing after recovery. 

The Issue With Alcohol As a Coping Mechanism

The primary reason why alcohol can be a dangerous coping mechanism is that it affects a person’s health, both physically and mentally. As intake of alcohol increases so does the risk of alcohol related illness. These can include diabetes, kidney disease, cancer and pancreatitis.  Declining mental health is also an issue due to both the physiological impact of stress paired with the chemical effects of alcohol on the brain.  

The Physical Impact of Alcohol and Stress on The Brain

George F. Koob, Ph.D., a scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla has mentioned in a study that excessive drinking drains the brain’s ability to produce various chemicals that are responsible for personal wellbeing. Alongside damaging the brain’s ability to create the chemicals responsible for well being, alcohol also promotes the production of stress chemicals like corticotropin which increases tension and stress. 

Alcohol creates a loop in the mind of the alcoholic where they need to take in alcohol to create these chemicals responsible for wellbeing. However, it also aggravates stress response and creates a dependency on it. This is why alcohol becomes addictive and can become a person’s primary coping mechanism for stress. 

Available Options For Recovering From Alcohol Use Disorder 

There is no singular cure for alcohol use disorder as each person has their own needs. Self treating alcoholism can be an even greater challenge, even for the most determined individual due to the risks associated with withdrawal and relapse. This is why it is highly recommended to seek out help from a professional treatment center like Soberman’s Estate.

Soberman’s Estate has created the ideal combination of medical, clinical, and holistic modalities, including board certified psychiatrists, medical doctors, psychologists, counselors, on-site labyrinth walks, equine therapy, fitness training, yoga, acupuncture, nutrition counseling and Chef prepared meals. Treatment at Soberman’s Estate is discrete and private with 5 beds on 5 acres of pristine Sonoran desert where recovery is adjusted to the needs of the patient.

If you or someone you know is considering treatment for addiction, call us at 480-595-2222 for a professional consultation.

Topics: Addiction, Recovery, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism