Coronavirus Quarantine and Binge Drinking

As each day blurs into the next during the coronavirus quarantine, it can be difficult to find ways to pass the time. With low accountability at home and high-stress levels, it can be easy for people to turn to binge drinking during this time. Read more about coronavirus quarantine and binge drinking, why binge drinking is dangerous, and how it can lead to alcoholism.

Coronavirus Quarantine and Binge Drinking: The Perfect Storm

The coronavirus quarantine can bring about a host of unhealthy habits, including binge drinking. If you find yourself drinking much more than normal right now, ask yourself if you relate to any or all of these scenarios:

  • Boredom. Feelings of boredom can drive people to drink more as a way to pass the time and entertain themselves.
  • High stress levels. If you watch enough of it, the news is riddled with a lot of different information, particularly because it seems like new rules we need to follow one moment may change the next. Not to mention, your job situation may have changed or your finances may have taken a hit. It can be overwhelming and stressful, causing people to drink more than normal in an attempt to ease stress levels.
  • Low accountability. Many people are likening this quarantine period as a free-for-all⁠—as in, it doesn’t matter what you eat, drink, or do at what time of day. When left to your own devices and no regimented routine to follow, falling into binge drinking patterns can easily happen.
  • Minimal responsibility. During this time, there is not much that the vast majority of us can do except stay put at home. This means not going to work, not running certain errands, or not rounding up the kids to attend various activities. The low amount of responsibility can open the door to binge drinking.

What Is Considered Binge Drinking?

For men, binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks within about two hours, and for women, it’s defined as consuming four or more drinks within about two hours. Not all people who binge drink suffer from alcohol use disorder. Here are some stats about binge drinking:

  • 1 in 6 U.S. adults reported binge drinking in 2015
  • Excessive alcohol use is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States
  • People who begin drinking before the age of 15 years are five times more likely to become dependent on alcohol than those who begin drinking at or after the age of 21 years

Binge Drinking Health Risks

Excessive binge drinking can lead to a wide array of health issues, such as:

  • Accidental falls or injury
  • Creating a volatile or dangerous environment in the home for others, including domestic violence
  • Automobile accidents, which can include injury or death to others
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Accidental or unintended pregnancies
  • Worsening depression and anxiety
  • Memory issues
  • Long-term health issues, such as cancer, heart failure, heart disease and more
  • A lifelong battle with addiction

Can Binge Drinking Lead to Alcoholism?

The increased frequency of binge drinking leads to alcohol dependence, which means the body has become physically addicted to alcohol. The final stage of alcoholism development is an addiction, where alcohol is no longer consumed for pleasure; it aids an individual in feeling “normal” and they cannot control or stop use. While living in such strange circumstances during the coronavirus quarantine, how can you tell if you have crossed the line from binge drinking to alcohol use disorder?

Signs to look out for include:

  • Inability to stop or slow use. Are you promising yourself you won’t drink today, but end up doing it anyway? This inability to stop or slow use should be seen as a red flag.
  • Drinking alcohol at inappropriate hours of the day. Just because you are on coronavirus quarantine doesn’t mean that drinking at any hour of the day is acceptable. If you find yourself using the quarantine as an excuse to drink first thing in the morning, you may have crossed the line into alcohol use disorder.
  • Suffering from negative consequences due to drinking. Have arguments with loved ones escalated, performance with work or school declined, or you’ve felt hungover every day?
  • Loved ones expressing concern. It can be easy to hide your alcohol use right now because isolating yourself from people is encouraged during coronavirus. However, if you find yourself especially isolated to where it doesn’t feel healthy and your loved ones are expressing concern, take notice.

The coronavirus quarantine and binge drinking can go hand-in-hand for some people. While there is nothing wrong with having a drink here and there for most people, it is important to notice when it may become binge drinking. If you are struggling with your drinking habits during the coronavirus quarantine, reach out to us. We are here to help you.

About Cliffside Malibu

Because no two addictions are the same, we develop individualized treatment plans for every client at Cliffside Malibu. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model across a range of levels of care, including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program includes family therapy and holistic therapy. Whether an individual has ais suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information, visit Cliffside Malibu.