Do you have a drinking problem?

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Liquor sales up during COVID-19 lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people in many ways, particularly in having to deal with stay-at-home orders and possible loss of employment. This has caused some to turn to alcohol in order to deal with this unprecedented disruption in their lives, and has made it even more difficult for those dealing with alcohol addiction.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many states throughout the U.S. have experienced a major spike in alcohol sales. People might be stocking up in case of alcohol shortages, they might be attempting to combat boredom with beer and liquor, or they might be self-medicating the immense amounts of stress and sadness that seem to go hand-in-hand with the unsure and with social distancing.

Whatever the cause, liquor sales are on the increase. This means that people are drinking more than they were previously. This seems to be a bit ironic, considering that those who are abiding by all government implemented guidelines are doing so to stay healthy – and excessive alcohol consumption is anything but.

ARE YOU DRINKING MORE?
Many healthcare professionals have weighed in on the subject, reminding American citizens that while alcohol does produce calming effects, it has many serious effects on both physical, mental, and emotional health. According to a recent report published by the Mayo Clinic, drinking alcohol also leads to an increased propensity toward catching pneumonia – one of the predominant symptoms of COVID-19.

GETTING IT UNDER CONTROL
“Getting alcoholism under control is the first step before any of these medical conditions occur,” Dr. Taca writes. “Most people can successfully cut down drinking and maintain a healthy and sober lifestyle; however, many cannot and require medical interventions before it is too late.”

HEALTH EFFECTS
While alcohol abuse can have an impacting negative affect on your personal life – including your job, friends, and family – it is widely known that there are a great deal of adverse health effects associated with excessive alcohol consumption. There is a significant list of alcohol’s effects on the body, which all lead to either putting yourself in harm’s way on a psychological level or physical level:

  • Alcohol interrupts the brain’s pathways, which can affect the way the brain functions. Over time, it can even change the way the brain looks. Additionally, alcohol impairs motor and cognitive functioning. Unpleasant mood and behavior changes can also occur.
  • Excessive drinking can also cause heart problems such as arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy (stretching of the heart muscle), high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • The risk of liver problems such as cirrhosis, fibrosis, steatosis (fatty liver), or alcoholic hepatitis can increase dramatically.
  • Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
  • The risk of various cancers may increase due to excessive consumption of alcohol, such as liver cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and head and neck cancer.
  • Your immune system can be weakened as a result of excessive drinking. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

GET HELP
If you are at a point where you think your drinking has gotten out of control, contact Dr. Taca and his team at INSynergy and you can further learn the benefits of medically supervised alcohol detox and all of the innovative treatment options available today.

Addiction specialists, like those at INSynergy, evaluate patients to determine which course of treatment will be best. Sometimes close monitoring at home of the blood pressure and heart rate is recommended after a comprehensive medical exam and workup, Dr. Taca writes. “A short course of medications as an outpatient is ideal in most cases, however at times the addictionist may recommend a higher level of care like the ICU (intensive care unit) because of severe medical complications like DTs.”

INSynergy is located at 11477 Olde Cabin Road, Suite 210, in Creve Coeur. For information call (314) 649-7867 and visit www.insynergystl.com.

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