Many of us are experiencing additional stress right now as we have been out of our normal routines. Financial burdens, job loss, children at home, working from home, illness, fear, and isolation are just a few you may be experiencing.
According to a study on the National Center for Biological Information, stress is shown to increase alcohol consumption as people use it as a coping mechanism to deal with the changes that are happening. Short term effects of increased alcohol consumption include disruptions in sleep and increased rates of depression. Another short term effect is that a person’s immune system becomes compromised, making it harder to fight off infections, such as COVID-19. During times of intense stress, such as natural disasters, the increase in alcohol use can have long term effects on rates of alcohol use disorder for years to come.
Although many places that sell alcohol have closed there has been a surge in alcohol sales. In particular, people are buying larger quantities of cheaper alcohol.
During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to support each other and to share virtual resources. Those who are struggling with substance use during this time, substance use disorder, or are in recovery are more limited in receiving support or treatment. The Iowa Department of Public Health has created YourLifeIowa.org so Iowans can chat live, text, or call to get reliable information and find nearby help. Our Certified Prevention Specialists at Helping Services encourage you to access YourLifeIowa.org if you or a loved one is looking for support. Please know there is help, and we are all in this together.
Visit HelpingServices.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-387-1720 for information and additional resources.