Alcohol sales are up, but mind your mental health

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU)- During this pandemic, staying at home is something that we're all trying to get used to, spending a lot more time indoors, but for someone with a substance use disorder being quarantined at a rehab facility might just be exactly what they need.

As alcohol sales soar across the country during the pandemic, are you at home over indulging? Maybe using alcohol to handle the stress of the pandemic?

16 News Now spoke with Lydia Burr who is the Clinical Director at Hazelden Betty Ford in St. Paul, Minnesota about keeping on the path if you're in addiction recovery, and for others it is about not abusing alcohol during these unprecedented times. 

"I think right now is a good time for people to be in residential care if they need residential care if that's where their substance use disorder is at," Burr says. "There are additional stressors going on right now though in the environment and in the outside world that people might find themselves more removed from."

NBC news reports that hard alcohol sales are up 75%, beer is up 42% and wine up 66%, and you've got to watch how much you're consuming. 

"It is actually not normal to use alcohol as a coping skill for everyday stressors or even additional stressors like people are facing right now. There are plenty of other ways that people can take care of themselves," Burr adds. 

Lydia Burr says that the unique times we find ourselves could be cause for developing a substance use disorder.

"The disease of addiction even under the best circumstances, the disease of addiction is one of isolation. So there is an increased issue with isolation right now, that people are being told to stay in their homes and not go out, and to not socialize with others. That sets the stage in way that's different."

There are other ways that you can deal with the stress, even in these strange times that we're living in. 

"People can get a good night's sleep. People can maintain a healthy exercise regimen. Eat healthy foods. People can still connect with each other virtually a lot of mutual support meetings have moved virtual, which is really helpful. Hazelden Betty Ford has started up virtual services to help people on an outpatient basis if maybe they're not going to be going to residential care at this time," Burr says. 

Most importantly stay hopeful and stay positive, and if you're struggling with a substance use issue, remember that recovery is possible. 

"There's always hope. These times will pass. Recovery is always possible and help is available even at a time like now, please reach out if you are struggling."