Alcoholic Beverages Sales Spike In 2020 Due To COVID-19 In The United States
In early March of 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease outbreak spread throughout the globe, uprooting the daily lives of millions. In the United States, people adjusted to strict guidelines and canceled activities. Some even quarantined for most of the year. To cope with the sudden change, many Americans turned to alcoholic beverages.
COVID-19 And The Spike In Alcohol Beverage Sales
As COVID-19 raged throughout the globe, the sales of alcoholic beverages spiked. In the United States, millions hunkered down for quarantine while making sure to stock up on spirits. In the week of March 21, 2020, the overall alcohol market grew by 55%. Online alcohol sales rose even higher to a shocking 243%. To put that into perspective, in 2019, U.S. distillers’ made $29 billion worth of sales. In 2020 liquor revenue rose to $31.2 billion despite bar, club, and restaurant closure.
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COVID-19 Alcohol And Addiction
During the pandemic, many families have experienced increased levels of stress and responsibility. They are maintaining their children’s school activities, work-from-home responsibilities, and housework. Not to mention others are battling financial hardships, social isolation, and general uncertainties. To alleviate their worries, some turned to alcohol. The sudden demand for the beverage caused growth in the alcohol industry. Unfortunately, it also triggered a sudden swelling in rates of addiction in the U.S.
In 2020, the overall number for heavy alcohol use hit an all-time high. An article published by Psychiatry Research reports that for those under lockdown, alcohol use increased from 21% (in March) to 40.7% (in September). A different study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that over 13% of Americans reported using alcohol or drugs to deal with COVID-19 related stressors. The spike in alcohol sales and use has raised eyebrows within the scientific and health community.
Across the country, the impact of COVID-19 and its link to the rise in alcohol consumption can be seen. In Minnesota, deaths from excessive alcohol use have jumped higher than any previous increases in history in the state. The Minnesota Department of Health found that nearly 1,000 people in their state died from alcohol use in 2020. In 2019, 821 people in Minnesota died from alcohol use. Experts believe this leap is due to factors related to the pandemic.
The problem is not isolated. Hospitals in the state of Virginia reported a 3.5% increase in visits related to drug and alcohol use from 2019 to 2020. Another study out of Missouri found that among unemployed study participants, 21% of them, “revealed mild, moderate, or high risk to alcohol addiction.” This is a serious concern for public health officials across the country, as many of those struggling with an alcohol use disorder may not seek out treatment that they desperately need.
Finding Treatment For Alcohol Addiction
No one expects to develop an AUD, but it can happen. It is the most common addiction in America. The onset of COVID-19, unfortunately, contributed to the spike of the condition and alcoholic beverage sales. Thankfully there are several addiction treatment centers ready to help anyone battling a substance use disorder. Though we are in a pandemic, there are thousands of people seeking treatment. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available treatment options.
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