How Bad Is Maine’s Pandemic Drinking Problem?
It's no surprise to anyone that Mainers have drunk more during the pandemic. For many of us, it's the reason we are carrying around an extra 10 pounds these days. But the effects of Mainers alcohol use, and misuse, especially during the past year, have led to some unfortunate consequences. We know that nationally 32% of people were binge-drinking in 2020 and that 60% of us increased our daily consumption of alcohol. In 2020, 584 Mainers had an alcohol-related death. That's a 28% increase from 2019 and a 75% increase from 2015. The State of Maine recently released a brief on alcohol use in Maine. It's certainly worth a read. Here are some key findings:
HOW MUCH HAVE YOUNG MAINERS BEEN DRINKING DURING THE PANDEMIC?
It's some of the highest rates in the country for young Mainers:
HOW HAS ALCOHOL USE AFFECTED EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS DURING COVID?
Just look at the spike of Emergency Room visits from a year ago.
HOW HAS ALCOHOL USE IN MAINE DURING COVID IMPACTED CAR ACCIDENTS?
Rates were higher in 2020, especially when we all went into lockdown. Police believe that drivers drove much more recklessly because of more alcohol use and fewer people on the roads.
WHAT IS BINGE DRINKING?
According to the CDC, If you are a man and consume 5 drinks in two hours or a woman who consumes 4 drinks in two hours, then you are binge-drinking. Many people who binge drink do not have a serious disorder, but binge drinking has serious risks and is the cause of more accidents and domestic violence.
HOW CAN SOMEONE IN MAINE GET HELP IF THEY ARE STRUGGLING WITH ALCOHOL?
Call 2-1-1 for help. Free, 24/7, and confidential.
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