Alcohol-Related Deaths Spike Majorly in the US After First Year of Pandemic

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Alcohol deaths spike after first year of the pandemic.

Alexander Mata , Reporter

It’s strange to think that alcohol-related deaths would spike in such a high level during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is, however, the truth of the matter. What once was only a 2.2% rise of deaths between the years of 1999 and 2017, becomes a sudden 25.5% boost between 2019-2020, making it one of the sharpest inclines of deaths recorded.

Most deaths, even for the 2019-2020 spike had been related with motor crashes under influence of alcohol. The major reason for the tremendous number of deaths leads back to how people were under-going so much stress because of COVID-19. “We’re not surprised. It’s unfortunate, but we sort of expected to see something like this,” Aaron White, lead author of the study and a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said. White explains how drinking was a common cope for many who were trying to get off all the stress, because most places where people would go to relieve stress were closed down, like gyms or social support.

The deaths can also relate with the number of alcohol purchases, increasing at least 3%. With the already rising deaths, it’s a possibility that the rates had already risen more towards 2022. It’s essential of health workers to have people becoming alcoholics get the proper screening and ask more in depth about patient’s alcohol use. “We need to help people learn how to cope in healthy ways,” White states. “It’s not enough to prevent unhealthy behavior. We need to go that next step and promote healthy behavior.” White however wants to be optimistic towards the situation, seeing what needs to be done now, and that hope is on the way.