New studies show number of alcohol-related deaths are spiking
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Almost a million Americans have died from COVID-19, but the full impact of the pandemic is still in question. New studies show the number of alcohol-related deaths has increased in the past two years.
“In this time of isolation, with COVID, it makes sense,” said Rob Perez, the owner of DV8 Kitchen.
Perez said lately more people have sent in applications to work at DV8 Kitchen. The restaurant hires people recovering from addiction.
Health experts said Americans are drinking more to cope with stress from the pandemic.
“Loneliness is a part of the disease. When we have loneliness, it’s never good,” Perez said.
Perez, who has struggled with addiction, knows just how important community is during recovery. He says the pandemic isolated people, cutting them off from family, friends, and support services.
“Recovery is really super active in the community,” said Andrea Bruhn, the regional director of substance use services with New Vista.
Bruhn, which supports people struggling with the addiction, says the pandemic made it harder for people to seek help. She said in-person support groups either moved online or stopped all together.
“Any barrier between a potential client and treatment increases the odds that they’re not going to seek treatment,” Bruhn said.
Bruhn and Perez are encouraging people struggling with alcohol to find healthier ways to cope with stress, whether that means turning to loved ones or a recovery group for support.
“I think making the time to set aside for just you and what your coping skills are going to be is imperative,” Bruhn said.
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