Alcohol-related deaths are increasing in the United States, according to a report this month from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study found that while more men than women died each year from alcohol-related causes, the rate of increase in deaths was higher for women.
And now, it appears, more women are turning to drinking during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. Many of them bear the burden of most household duties, including childcare, in addition to their responsibilities to their jobs outside their homes, which many are now doing from their homes.
“Having children in the home was associated with more drinking,” Lindsey Rodriguez recently told NBC News.
Rodriguez, one of the authors of a study about the pandemic and excessive alcohol consumption published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, said that for women “the most problematic alcohol use happened around March and April” of this year when the lockdown went into effect.
Another study published recently in JAMA Network Open said that while Americans increased their alcohol consumption by 14% from 2019 to 2020, women increased their heavy drinking — more than four drinks in one sitting — by 41%.
Alcohol is the “easiest coping strategy,” Natalie Crawford, an assistant professor of behavioral, social and health education at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, told NBC News recently. “Over a short time period, the system does a really good job of adapting to stress, but this is chronic,” she noted.
Some companies are specifically targeting women with their ads for “chick beer” packaged in pink containers and promoting drinking as a component of empowerment.
Drinking excessively can result in a long list of medical issues, including cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol poisoning.