For individuals struggling with or recovering from alcohol addiction, 2020 was a difficult year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year will go down in history as one of the most stressful years we have endured. Due to the global pandemic, it is no wonder that more and more people have turned to alcoholic beverages to cope with the uncertainty. Between staying at home and suffering through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, many people have relied on alcohol to get them through the day. According to Nielsen, alcohol sales skyrocketed by 54 percent in late March compared to that time last year. Online sales increased by 500 percent in April.
Continue reading to learn more about how COVID-19 has resulted in a spike in alcohol consumption.
The Correlation Between COVID-19 and Alcohol Consumption
Due to the pandemic, we have all had to change how we socialize with loved ones, do tasks at work, and even how we shop for groceries. Since more people are staying home for the health and safety of vulnerable communities, they may have experienced isolation. In turn, many people have turned to illicit substances to cope. Alcohol is accessible to most people due to its affordable price and how widely available it is.
Although social distancing is essential and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying at home when it comes to non-essential travel, there is no denying that isolation is dangerous for those who are grappling with addiction or are in recovery. After all, loneliness, uncertainty, and anxiety are all common triggers that lead to relapse. Worst of all, drinking to ease anxiety and other negative emotions is embedded in our culture—but it does not have to be this way.
Fortunately, 2020 is coming to an end, and as we usher in 2021, you can start it off sober and stay on track. In today’s blog, we will go over the benefits of sobriety and give you advice on the best ways to abstain from drinking.
Information on Alcohol Abuse Disorder
Staying informed about the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse can help you figure out if you need to seek professional help for your alcohol consumption. Sometimes, it is impossible to recognize that you or a loved one is abusing alcohol because of how our culture accepts and even promotes its misuse. For many people, however, it gives them a temporary escape from intrusive thoughts and other negative emotions. Here is a list of common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:
- Being unable to control how much or how often you drink
- Spending your free time drinking, purchasing alcohol, and recovering from drinking
- Dealing with intense cravings and urges that you cannot resist
- Continuing to abuse alcohol despite the issues it is causing with your relationships or at work
- Noticing a high tolerance, so you need more alcohol to experience the same effects
- Struggling with withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop drinking or reduce how much you drink too quickly
If you recognize any of the above symptoms in your own life or a loved one’s, then you may be suffering from alcohol addiction. Fortunately, 2021 can be the year you turn your life around.
Why Going Sober in 2021 Should Be a Goal
The benefits of sobriety are endless. For starters, you will notice that you will have clearer skin, boosting your confidence. The term “alcohol face” refers to the physical effects of constant alcohol consumption, including broken capillaries on your face and nose, dry skin, inflammation, and loosening skin due to collagen loss.
Furthermore, your sleep will drastically improve. Alcohol addiction and bad sleeping habits are closely linked because alcohol disrupts sleep-wake cycles. Worst of all, it relaxes your throat’s muscles too much, resulting in sleep apnea and excessive snoring.
You will also notice improvements in your weight. Alcohol robs your body of essential nutrients, derailing your metabolism. To make health matters worse, it is also filled with sugars and empty calories. For example, if you binge drink, you can easily consume over 600 calories in one night, according to Everyday Health.
A major component of alcohol addiction recovery is learning how to live a healthier lifestyle so that you are encouraged to remain sober. Below are four expert tips to help you remain sober this upcoming year.
1. Avoid Risky Situations
Although loneliness may make us want to reach out to people from our pasts, it is best to avoid contacting anyone who has enabled your drinking habits. Avoid spending time with people who you used to heavily drink with. Do not go to the places you used to drink at, such as bars or restaurants.
2. Build a New Support Group
Reach out to close friends and family members who have had a positive influence on your life, even if your relationships have changed. When people abuse alcohol, they may push away the ones who matter most. Anyone who cares about your well-being will understand why you may have been distant these past few months, and they will welcome you back with open arms.
Keep your loved ones one phone call away if you are in a public setting and the temptation to drink strikes. They should be able to help talk you out of it and keep you accountable in a friendly manner.
3. Spend Time on Hobbies That Nourish You
Do you have an exercise routine? Physical activity releases brain chemicals called endorphins, which will make you feel happy. Additionally, you may want to spend time volunteering for a good cause, such as a children’s hospital, library, or animal shelter. Whatever new hobby you take on, it can help you find new friends who are like-minded and care about the same causes you do.
4. Receive Professional Treatment
If you are struggling with alcohol abuse disorder, your best option will be to seek professional treatment from a comprehensive rehabilitation center. Whether you have stayed at one of these centers in the past or it is your first time, a team of medical professionals and mental health experts will be willing to help you without judgment. It is impossible to curb an addiction by quitting cold turkey, and the safest and sure-fire way to reclaim your life is to ask for help.
Ardu Recovery Center Cares
At Ardu Recovery Center, we have helped many people struggling with alcohol addiction and other substance abuse problems find their way out of the clutches of addiction. We are proud to provide holistic treatment modalities that will help nourish your mind, body, and spirit.
If you or a loved one is set on overcoming addiction in 2021, please do not be afraid to reach out to us. Our facility is located in the gorgeous Provo, Utah.