Substance abuse is a constant concern for Americans who are self-isolating, and at least one survey from alcohol.org suggests that may not be limited to people who are out of work.
The isolation adding to everyone’s anxiety might be especially tough for addicts who are often. supported by group contact.
In a survey of 3,000 American workers, Alcohol.org found that about 41 percent of Oklahomans admitted to drinking alcohol during lockdown. The state with the highest response was Hawaii at 67 percent.
“When faced with adversity, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, many may look to alcohol to alleviate their stress as it numbs emotions,” the release by Alcohol.org states. “Particularly if confined to your home with less work to do than usual, it can be tempting to grab a glass – or bottle – of your favorite wine. In fact, 35 percent of Americans say they are likely to drink more alcohol while self-isolating. “
Of surrounding states, Kansas was the only one higher than Oklahoma at 47 percent. Arkansas was the least likely at only eight percent.
The survey also had the following findings about alcohol consumption:
• Beer is the choice for workers who drink during working hours
• 1 in 3 say they are likely to drink more alcohol in isolation
• One-fifth of respondents stockpiled alcohol for self-isolation
In a breakdown by gender, the survey found:
• Drink choices among men were ranked as beer (44 percent), wine (22 percent), straight spirits (22 percent) and cocktails (11 percent).
• Drink choices among women were ranked as cocktails (38 percent), beer (33 percent), wine (24 percent) and straight spirits (5 percent).
“If you find yourself or anyone in your household reaching for the bottle as a coping mechanism too often, it can be cause for concern, especially considering the current circumstances in which we have found ourselves as a nation,” said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer of American Addiction Centers. “These are stressful times as many employees struggle with having to adapt to a home working environment, in which distractions are abundant and alcohol may seem like a good solution. There are a number of accessible online resources available if you suspect substance addiction, such as support helplines, chatrooms and forums.”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a toll free national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.