Alcohol Associated deaths surged in first 12 months of Covid
The number of alcohol associated deaths throughout the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic has surged dramatically, according to a recent study.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on March 18, revealed that 99,017 U.S. citizens died of alcohol-related causes in 2020—a 25.5 percent increase from the 78,927 deaths documented in 2019.
Researchers noted that the most significant increase in deaths was among the 35 to 44 age group, amounting to nearly 40 percent of all deaths. The second age group that suffered most from lethal alcohol use were Americans aged 25 to 34, with males and females having a similar mortality rate.
The study analyzed data from the same year when there was a reported 54 percent increase in national sales of alcohol in March 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
Online alcohol sales for the week ending March 21, 2020, were also 262 percent higher in 2020 than in 2019.
Anxiety and pressure induced by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic contributed to the increase in drinking to cope with stress, researchers said. Other key factors include more emergency department visits for alcohol withdrawal and delays in treatment.
“The assumption is that there were lots of people who were in recovery and had reduced access to support that spring and relapsed,” Aaron White, one of the authors of the study, told The New York Times.
“Stress is the primary factor in relapse, and there is no question there was a big increase in self-reported stress, and big increases in anxiety and depression, and planet-wide uncertainty about what was coming next,” he said. “That’s a lot of pressure on people who are trying to maintain recovery.”