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No Bars? No Bother | US Alcohol Sales Surge as Coronavirus Lockdown Continues

We already knew that Americans like to drink. With the latest lockdowns rolling through the states due to the coronavirus, however, that like for alcohol may be turning into a new and unhealthy coping strategy.

The bars are closed, but US sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55 percent the week of March 21st. Hard alcohol, such as gin, tequila, and premixed cocktails are at the top of the proverbial “home shelf” and spirits have seen the highest increase in sales with a 75% increase compared to the same time last year.

Wine and beer aren’t far behind though. Wine sales have increased 66 percent and beer sales have risen 42 percent.

New York and many other states with essential business closures have allowed their liquor stores to stay open. This is due to two things. The fear of withdrawal for those with alcohol dependence, and the risk of alcohol becoming a black market commodity.

As consumers avoid heading out, well anywhere, online services and apps have made it easier for them to order alcohol delivered directly to them. Drizly, an alcohol delivery app, saw sales increase 300% from the earlier year according to reports from CNBC.

While happy hours over Zoom, FaceTime and mixing margaritas at 9 am may seem fun, The World Health Organization wants people to slow it down during the coronavirus lockdown. Alcohol is not a healthy coping mechanism in times of stress and if it is used as such for too long it may turn into more than a coping strategy and become a dependence.

The rise in alcohol consumption is not only impacting those who are drinking a little bit more, but also those who are currently in sobriety. An increase in relapses have been seen across the country.

The suggested number of drinks per week is 14 or less. With routines and lives suddenly upended, it isn’t a total shock that we are seeing Americans reaching for the bottle more often than usual. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take a turn for the worse.

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