Stress and Boredom During COVID-19 Leading to Increased Drug and Alcohol Use
As the stay at home order remains, nationwide and local studies are finding an increase in alcoholism and drug abuse during COVID-19.
Advanced Recovery Systems surveyed 1,000 teens aged 18, and found that 55% of them reported an uptick in alcohol consumption during the virus.
36% said they had increased illicit drug use.
Last year, the CDC reported over 158,000 deaths from alcohol and drug abuse, and local services in Erie are concerned this number could rise this year.
“Recovery is a challenge alone. When you factor in another barrier that people face, I think a lot of times that stress that anxiety level is just going to continue to grow and escalate”, said Jason Kisielewski, Community Affairs Manager for Gaudenzia.
Gaudenzia is currently assisting 200 people in their fight to end drug and alcohol abuse.
Some factors Kisielewski attributes to the increases is anxiety and boredom.
“A lot of times, people will just naturally turn to something. They’re looking for something to take their mind off what’s going on in the world around them”, he said.
Another correlation in various studies showed an correlation between the first round of stimulus check distribution and alcohol sales.
Gaudenzia will remain open during COVID-19 with telehealth services and is encouraging everyone to stay in as much of a routine as possible as the virus continues.
Isaac Petkac is a reporter for Erie News Now, a local TV station in Erie, Pennsylvania. In November 2019, EHRP partnered with Erie News Now to support Petkac’s coverage of economic inequality in the area. Read more about our partnership here.
Co-published with Erie News Now.