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Drinking more alcohol these days? You are not alone

If you have been drinking more alcohol during this coronavirus pandemic, you are not the only one. Overall, alcohol sales are up 55% compared to this time last year.

And, studies show women are the ones drinking more right now.

From virtual happy hours and “quarantini” drink recipes, many people have been drinking more during their time of isolation.

“The sooner we try alcohol to relieve our coronavirus stress, to feel better in the morning, the sooner we are going to find out - it isn’t working for us,” explains Author Annie Grace. “Especially alcohol is specifically addictive when you start drinking for stress.”

Best selling author Annie Grace found out the hard way a few years ago that drinking was not working for her.

“I was the global head of marketing and I was drinking close to two bottles of wine a night. I really started to say I need to drink less, get control of this,” Grace said. “I feel like alcohol is the duct tape that was holding my whole life together. The whole reason I could function really. It was the reason I could be a mom an executive and all of these things.”

Women and alcohol

Grace wrote the book “This Naked Mind” and now leads alcohol free challenge groups. She said she’s not surprised studies show women are the ones drinking more right now.

"You are a mom, you are also at work, you are taking care of all of the house and you think you need a drink. The door for women drinking more was through that you know you need something to relieve your stress,” Grace said.

A study from the National Institutes of Health points out the big problem women have with alcohol. More women are dying from it at twice the rate as before, according to the study. Women who drink more than five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer a day, every day, are considered heavy drinkers.

Stop drinking apps

There are now apps that can help you stay accountable when it comes to drinking. Loosid is a sober social network that connects peers to support each other through hotlines and chat groups.

“Say the three words that nobody wants to say, ‘I need help’ and you’d be amazed how many people are willing to give it to you,” said Loosid CEO, MJ Gottlieb.

Other helpful accountability apps include: I am Sober, Sober Tracker, or the 12 Steps Companion.

Instead of drinking, experts recommend filling downtime with other activities like exercising or starting a new hobby. You could also talk to a therapist if you think that would help. From mental health hotlines to teletherapy options, this article has several suggestions for ways you can visit with a mental health professional.