The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way all of us go about our daily lives. We wear masks in public, maintain social distancing, and find ourselves a bit more isolated from friends and family. While COVID-19 has brought many inconveniences, it’s also casting an imposing shadow over the lives of women across the country.
During the pandemic, more and more women are reporting problems with alcohol abuse. Is it an effect from the lifestyle changes forced on us by COVID-19? Or is there another reason behind the rapid rise of alcohol use with women? In this post, we’re going to take a detailed look at the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and alcohol abuse in women.
The Rise in Alcohol Abuse in Women
A recent study from the JAMA Network found the COVID-19 pandemic was the reason behind 1 in 10 women seeing an increase in their alcohol-related issues. The study also showed alcohol consumption for women has risen by a staggering 41% since the pandemic began. One of the main concerns that stems from this statistic is how alcohol abuse affects your body and how that plays into your risk for getting COVID-19. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers clear warnings about alcohol during the pandemic, which include:
- Excessively drinking alcohol weakens your body’s ability to fight infections, making it harder for you to get better if you get sick.
- Alcohol use is a risk factor for lung-related diseases like COVID-19.
- Drinking alcohol does not protect you from COVID-19.
- Alcohol can increase your risk of making the acute respiratory distress syndrome that sometime appears with COVID-19 more severe.
An Increased Sensitivity to Alcohol Is Putting Women at Risk
Did you know that if a man and a woman each have a drink, the women’s blood alcohol content will be higher? The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports the difference in gastric tissue activity between genders is the leading reason why women become intoxicated from smaller quantities of alcohol. Since women are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, they find themselves at a higher risk for developing an alcohol addiction.
When you start to factor in the social and environmental changes the COVID-19 pandemic has created, the cause for the sudden rise in alcohol abuse among women starts to become less of a mystery.
Factors Contributing to Alcohol Abuse in Women
Humans are social creatures, and we all need to be connected with friends and family to lean on them when we need support. Social distancing has put distance between women and that crucial support. Many women find themselves turning to alcohol as a way to cope with the stress and anxiety in their lives.
Feelings of Grief
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many women have experienced grief due to job loss. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the majority of jobs lost at the height of pandemic in March 2020 were held by women. The stress of trying to find a way to provide for themselves or their family led to many of these women turning to alcohol to cope.
Regular Coping Strategies Disappearing
One of the main affects COVID-19 has had on our society is the closing of businesses in local communities. Your normal gym, exercise class, coffee shop and public library could be closed down. With your regular coping strategies becoming less available, the temptation to drink excessively might be higher than it’s ever been before.
No matter what hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic acted as the catalyst for your drinking, there is professional support ready to help you reach lasting recovery.
Reclaim Your Life from Alcohol Abuse at Fountain Hills Recovery
We know that dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, but there are healthier ways to cope with the stress and anxiety it has caused. Fountain Hills Recovery is a premier alcohol addiction rehab center in Arizona that has experience helping women by offering a holistic and personalized approach to treatment.
You have the potential to break free from the hold alcohol has over your life. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you reach lasting sobriety.