Friday, December 1, 2023

Americans’ Alcohol Consumption at Highest Level Since Pre-Civil-War Era

'The pandemic was like the perfect storm. So that quick surge, similar to what we saw in the 1850s, 1860s, it's just the environment is kind of fostering it...'

(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) A new report from the National Institutes of Health revealed that American alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic increased to its highest rate since the start of the Civil War in 1861.

From 2019 to 2021, there was a 5.5% rise in the alcohol consumption of Americans, marking the most drastic increase in the space of two years since 1969, the Daily Mail reported.

Among the factors that were believed to have influenced this drastic spike in alcohol usage were increased stress levels, boredom and increased access to alcohol due to remote-work environments. 

Similarly, this excessive drinking occurred during the early days of the Civil War as soldiers had even more access to alcohol and stress levels were also high.

“When you’re going through a trauma, especially a global trauma like Covid, you’re focused on survival and really not thinking too far ahead,” Carolyn Rubenstien, a Florida-based psychologist, told the Daily Mail.

Rubenstein said that the panic-mongering media ,ay have helped drive people to drink by blasting them with negative news all day long.

“When you’re going through anything scary, you want to escape, especially during Covid; we were bombarded with news and information and social media, everything,” she said.

“Although we were alone a lot, it was so busy and so loud,” she continued. “So many times we wanted to hit that stop button, but didn’t know how, so people leaned towards things like drinking and other things that would help them to kind of dial down the stress.”

The NIH report noted a possibility that the alcohol consumption level might have increased even without the pandemic due to the already stressful environment stemming from a tumultuous national election and months of race riots.

However, the pandemic undoubtedly was a major contributing factor.

“The pandemic was like the perfect storm,” Rubenstein said. “So that quick surge, similar to what we saw in the 1850s, 1860s, it’s just the environment is kind of fostering it.”

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