spiratory disorders, can be a poorer out- look for those who do contract the new coronavirus, added Pollard.

Back-to-school issues

Drosnes said “mom and teacher stress” could conspire to make alcohol misuse even worse as the school year begins with many children staying home and attending classes remotely. “There’s no dividing line between motherhood and work,” Drosnes said, adding that Caron has seen an increase in admissions for relapse into alcohol use disorder since the pandemic struck. He said he expects more people to seek treat- ment as they recognize the toll being ex- acted by their drinking in the coming months. “There’s been a journey from structure

into chaos, and for many, alcohol is a way to deal with that,” he said. “Our lives have changed so dramati- cally that some feel the need to reward themselves for working at home, taking care of children around the clock, and having very limited sources for pleasure, so that alcohol by default is used more often,” added Moe Gelbart, PhD, director of practice development for California- based Community Psychiatry and founder of the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California.

How to relieve stress without alcohol To cope with COVID-19 without mis-

using alcohol, Lori Ryland, PhD, chief clinical officer of Pinnacle Treatment Centers, recommended healthy stress-re- ducing (and mind-distracting) activities, such as going for a walk, reading a book, or doing a project around the house. “There are a lot of healthy ways to

cope without turning to alcohol,” Drosnes said. “First and foremost, I encourage ev- eryone to develop a healthy routine — which begins with getting enough sleep, waking up at a regular time, eating nutri- tious meals throughout the day, and getting plenty of exercise. It’s easier to make constructive choices when you have struc- ture and you’re well rested. “Additionally, it’s important to estab-

lish realistic social support and connection during this time. If you’re in recovery, that could include an online or socially dis- tanced and masked 12-step meeting. “If you’re not in recovery, you can still

set up regular calls and virtual meet-ups with friends and loved ones, or connect with people in person following safe, so- cial distancing guidelines (wear your mask). “Finally, I encourage people to take a

walk in nature, which can be very healing, and support a spiritual practice,” Drosnes said.

The above article can be found at Health- and was written by Bob Curley, who is a freelance healthcare and travel writer and former news editor for the ad- diction treatment and prevention resource center Join Together at Boston University and health and wellness provider MeY- ouHealth. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including USA Today, Forbes, Coastal Living, and Business Traveller.


Binge drinking has many effects on

your body, both over the short and long term. After a night of chasing beers with tequila shots, the next morning’s hangover might actually be the least of your worries.

More research shows that even a single episode of binge drinking can have serious effects on all parts of your body, not just your brain. Long-term damage from heavy alcohol use isn’t limited to people with alcohol use disorder. Frequent binge drink- ers can also develop health problems. Binge drinking is defined as men

consuming five or more drinks within about two hours. For women, it’s defined as consuming four or more drinks within about two hours. A new study by the Centers for Dis- ease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1 in 6 U.S. adults reported binge drinking in 2015. The 37 million binge drinkers had about one binge per week and consumed an average of seven drinks per episode.That comes out to about 17 billion total binge drinks for the year. Here’s a look at how all that alcohol

is impacting the health of Americans over both the short and long term.

Short-term effects You’ll start to feel the effects of alcohol within 5 to 10 minutes of having a drink. About 90 percent of the alcohol in

your blood is broken down by the liver. The rest is excreted through the lungs,

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