Stay at home and drink. This has become the new mantra of most people who had to stay behind closed doors more often during this pandemic time and work for long hours in front of their screens. And what is more alarming is the increased percentage of women who are getting addicted to drinking recently. This trending habit of getting drunk raises health questions amongst health experts.
Taking alcohol has always been looked upon as a health hazard for both men and women. Any alcohol consumption can have deleterious effects on our bodies, starting from bad mental health to poor cardiac conditions. An increase in blood pressure, liver problems, and acid reflux issues are some of the side effects that heavy drinkers experience.
The Other Side Of The Pandemic: An Increasing Trend In Drinking Habits, Especially Amongst The Women
Even unstable mental conditions are reported due to this habit that can imbalance family life with upturned relationships, domestic violence, increased incidences of child abuse, and even accidents on road.
Recent data shows that there has been an increase of 14% in drinking habits both in men and women on a monthly basis and a whopping 41% increase in that of women alone! What should be the cause?
According to Dr. Leena Mittal, chief of the women’s mental health division in the department of psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, this pandemic has created a lot of pressure for the women as they are trying to shuttle themselves between work and home. They need to spend all of their time taking care of the family members and doing their own jobs. Everything is performed in the same space without any separate personal or private lives.
Dr. Mittal added that most of her patients who are working and used to spend time outside their homes pre-pandemic now have to spend the entire time at home, leaving no scope for recreation through socializing. As a result, they are turning to drinking at home as a source of relaxation.
In fact, a lot of marketing gimmicks are successfully alluring mothers to taste news brands through advertisements as women are spending more time in front of the televisions. Increased cases of mental problems are also being reported recently.
But what is concerning is that most people are exceeding the limits. It is true that even before the pandemic times, incidents of heavy drinking had been reported; about 66 million Americans had crossed their limits in drinking in 2019. However, drinking habits in women can increase breast cancer rates in them as Dr. Sarah Wakeman, medical director of the Substance Use Disorders Initiative at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that any amount can be dangerous for alleviating the risks of cancer.
The healthy limits say that for regular beer it’s 12 ounces and for regular wine, it’s 4 ounces. Dr. Wakeman suggests only half an ounce of liquor, but people usually go beyond this limit. And this leads to what is called alcohol use disorder which harms our lives, both physical as well as mental. People continue with their drinking habits quite without their consciousness disrupting relationships and their ability to work healthily.
As Dr. Mittal concludes that we are going through a tough time, it is of utmost importance to understand our body needs and be compassionate about them rather than hurrying.
Experts stress that if someone really needs help, they should come forward and ask for it without hesitation. Having issues in life does not mean that one should drink and shy away from reality. It is better to take care of oneself than act like a sponge soaking up alcohol.