A quick search of the term “Covid hangover” reveals many different meanings, such as the pandemic’s lingering adverse effects on physical and mental health, education, finances, and the economy, to name a few. But, more literally, Covid seems to have significantly affected the amount we are drinking. Sound about right?
Covid was hard on many of us. Being locked up at home without face-to-face interactions or a regular schedule created stress, boredom, and isolation that was very challenging. So, many people turned to alcohol or drug use to self-medicate and numb their unmet emotional and mental health needs. As a result, research says that alcohol consumption increased by 24% during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 34% reported increased consumption of cannabis. Self-stigma exacerbated the problem because many felt embarrassed or uncomfortable about asking for help or treatment.
So, how much alcohol is too much? To minimize the risk associated with drinking, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) recently decreased the recommended weekly alcohol consumption limits from 15 drinks for men and 10 drinks for women down to no more than two alcoholic drinks per week for everyone. Research suggests that decreasing your alcohol consumption will help provide sleep and overall health benefits and decrease your risk of developing certain cancers. Too much alcohol can also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Another factor to consider is what we consider as “a drink.” According to the CCSA, a standard drink in Canada is defined as:
A 12-oz. (341 ml) bottle of 5 per cent alcohol beer or cider
A 5-oz. (142 ml) glass of 12 per cent alcohol wine
A 1.5-oz. (43 ml) shot glass of 40 per cent alcohol spirits
So, that means the limit for your weekly recommended consumption is the 9oz glass of wine or margharita at the restaurant or the second beer while watching the game.
Where do we go from here?? If this concerns you, it is important to note that these numbers suggest you are not alone. Talk to someone close to you and share your concerns. Here is a great link for support in Canada:
We are also here for you. We provide online, phone, or in-person counselling. Contact us today: 506-651-1239 or book online at https://www.lauragatien.com/.
Here are some links if you want to read more:
Laura, Clinical Therapist
A big Thank You to Toby, my colleague for writing this blog!!!
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