COVID-19 Increases Challenges During Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month

COVID-19 has created a disruption for all Kentuckians as we change our daily lives to practice “social distancing” and “flatten the curve.” Despite the many sacrifices being made and changes occurring, I have witnessed Kentuckians coming together for the greater good and recognizing what preventionist have known all along. The beauty of prevention is that when it works, some may not even notice; because when prevention works, less bad things happen – fewer deaths, fewer harmful consequences and greater good.

From school closures to working from home, COVID-19 has impacted most aspects of the Kentuckians’ daily lives. Stressors and uncertainty about health outcomes, finances, job changes, childcare, taking care of elderly family or others at especially high risk just to name a few are high. Individuals who have never drank before, may take their first drink, while others may find themselves drinking more or more often to self-medicate. According to Healthline.com, “As feelings of anxiety, depression or sheer boredom increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire to turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism could
become more problematic.” The CDC Guidelines for managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak have been included in this guide.

If you think you might have a problem, find yourself drinking more than usual, or you or someone you know is in crisis, there are options available to help. You may find addiction treatment resources, at findhelpnowky.org. You may also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time to speak to someone and get support. For confidential support available 24/7 for everyone in the U.S., call 1-800-273- 8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

While COVID-19 presents many challenges, it is important to remember as Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has said, “We will get through this. We will get through this together.” …

Tara McGuire, CPS
State Alcohol Prevention Enhancement Specialist
New Vista Regional Prevention Center