March 25, 2022

It is widely understood that the pandemic significantly increased alcohol consumption throughout the country, and a recent report on the JAMA network found that there has actually been a 25% increase in the rate of alcohol-related deaths. Additionally, transplants for alcohol-related liver disease have increased as have emergency room visits for alcohol-related issues. Though pandemic worries have dissipated, Dr. Weinstein spoke with Treatment Magazine about the ways in which these issues could persist and how to best address them.

According to Dr. Weinstein, a previous SARS pandemic showed much of the same results being seen today: those in high-risk locations were more likely to consume alcohol to cope and problematic alcohol consumption increased for years afterwards. He believes that we may see the same here.

“Although the pandemic’s effects may dissipate, the economic, psychological and mental effects brought on by the pandemic may persist for much longer – therefore prolonging excess alcohol consumption,” said Dr. Weinstein. Further, “the difficulties caused by the loss of employment, loss of loved one, lingering illnesses and other risk factors for alcohol misuse will remain a challenge for many people even when everything else has seemingly moved on.”

To read the entire interview, visit Treatment Magazine.