(RightIsRight.co) – COVID-19 changed nearly every aspect of American life. From how we work to how we interact with each other, we have been forced to create new habits and ways of coping with social isolation. But, for some, the past nine months pushed them to turn to alcohol and drugs, forming new habits that will be difficult to undo.
A Study Uncovers Why Americans Turned to Alcohol This Year
The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health published a study that outlined the numerous reasons Americans abused alcohol as the shutdowns began.
Millions of Americans lost their jobs and businesses, leading to financial uncertainty and feelings of failure. Alcohol was a simple way to forget about that pain for a short time. But, as the pandemic rages on, new shutdowns are put in place, and the isolation continues — so does the drinking.
Writer Michael Levin questions whether politicians understand the full effects of their lockdowns:
Michael Levin: COVID lockdowns – substance abuse spikes will hurt us for decades. Don't politicians get that? https://t.co/vHhsqxBMyj via @foxnews
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) December 10, 2020
The draw of alcohol to ease pain does not discriminate either. Reporter Newley Purnell shares the part in played in the recent death of Zappos co-founder Tony Hsieh:
Mr. Hsieh spoke often about partying as a central feature of his work and life, and his drinking increased after he retired and grappled with the isolation enforced by the pandemic, those close to him said. https://t.co/iuXZreSH0v
— Newley Purnell (@newley) December 7, 2020
Families Are Hurting With Few Ways to Find Support
Parents also suffer and may turn to alcohol and drugs because their children are hurting, too. Kids are experiencing unprecedented rates of depression, as their friends, routines, sports, and other activities have been on hold for nearly nine months.
Often, people who struggle with addiction turn to programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, but this year, those meetings have mostly moved online. These virtual meetings, though, do not provide the same support and encouragement of an in-person meeting.
What Does This Mean for America?
As Americans formed potentially deadly habits this year, researchers are starting to see the effects. Ohio’s State Highway Patrol shares some of them:
A staggering statistic from @nhtsagov: "So far, during the public health emergency 65% of drivers hospitalized after a serious crash tested positive for drugs or alcohol". Make sure that you and everyone you know makes a commitment to #DriveSober. https://t.co/k7Yn4oWnfk
— OSHP_SEOhio (@OSHP_SEOhio) December 10, 2020
With these reports, some citizens want more transparency about the long-term effects that our country will face:
With every #COVID19 statistic, we need to know collateral damage stats as well: financial devastation, depression, domestic violence, alcohol & drug abuse, and suicide numbers are off the charts.
— Brian Hamilton (@iBrianHamilton) December 1, 2020
Politicians believe they’re saving lives by closing businesses and forcing families to stay apart over the holidays. But, many Americans wonder if the “social cost of broken relationships” will be higher than the lives saved due to the lockdowns. Our nation will have a lot to repair when the pandemic is over, and an enormous addiction to alcohol will be just one small part of that.
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