The Red Flags You're Drinking Too Much To Deal with COVID

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A common way to cope with the coronavirus pandemic is drinking, and more and more people are developing new alcohol addiction issues. The Doctors identify the red flags that may be a sign you are drinking too much to cope with COVID-19.

Watch: Now Is the Time to Check on Your Loved Ones Battling Addiction

Psychiatrist Dr. Domenick Sportelli says he has seen an increase in of people seeking treatment for alcohol abuse in recent months, and many of them never had previous alcohol-related issues. 

He notes there are universal increases in stress, anxiety, isolation, and notes we are spending much more time home (along with more and more virtual happy hours) -- something he calls "the perfect storm for people to self-medicate." He also notes many people think they are having "a few drinks," but in reality the quantity of alcohol they are actually drinking is much more than the recommended 5 ounces.

He says the signs you may be drinking too much include:

- Drinking more than the recommended amount, which is 1 drink for both men and women - He stresses to watch your serving size and remember you are your own bartender now.

- Drinking to escape stress - Dr. Sportelli notes alcohol will only reduce anxiety for a short amount of time and could make you feel worse later.

- Drinking while working - He notes drinking on the job was not something commonly done before the pandemic and everyone should be mindful of mixing work and drinks.

- Drinking when bored - The psychiatrist says this is "asking for trouble" and suggests instead of using Zoom to drink, why not use it for a hobby, exercise, or a cooking class.

Watch: Does the Virtual Happy Hour Ever End?

*If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please call the confidential and free National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website.

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