In March of 2020, Nielsen reported a 54% increase in alcohol sales compared to the same time period in 2019. It seems that people’s initial reaction to the pandemic shutdown was to down more drinks.
Are you still drinking more than usual? Many people are, and that has us worried. Evidence is mounting that when it comes to alcohol (even with its heart- and artery-friendly benefits), less is more.
A new study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology shows that in the U.S., alcohol consumption accounts for around 75,200 cancer cases and 18,950 cancer-related deaths every year.
Another study in the Journal on Studies of Alcohol and Drugs says that more than half of alcohol-caused cancer deaths are experienced by those drinking recommended safe amounts — one drink a day for women and two for men.
In addition, alcohol is a factor in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, falls, and suicides.
It's also related to destabilizing atrial fibrillation and depression, and can make it difficult to manage diabetes, hypertension, and sleep disorders.
If you're handling pandemic or economic stresses by imbibing alcohol, it's time to wean yourself off the stuff. Limit yourself to one glass of wine every or every other day if you have a high risk for cancer in your family.
And if you've developed dependence, think about giving up drinking altogether. Get help through Alcoholics Anonymous, therapy, and your doctor.
A great substitute for an alcoholic beverage is more physical activity.