Mental health experts concerned about increase of alcohol consumption during pandemic

It seems that some New Jerseyans have been drinking more since the COVID-19 pandemic began - and that is concerning to some mental health experts.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2020, 10:24 PM

Updated 1,427 days ago

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Virtual happy hours, cocktails-to-go and the relaxing of some public drinking laws – it seems that some New Jerseyans have been drinking more since the COVID-19 pandemic began - and that is concerning to some mental health experts.
“If you are starting to use these products to cope, this is something we have to question,” says Robbin Gulino, the coordinator for the Wayne/Clifton Municipal Alliance, a group that educates the public on the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
Gulino says that the rise in alcohol sales in the state has her concerned, as well as many social media posts that seem to make light of self-medicating to reduce COVID-related stresses.
“People are watching and they see what you’re posting and it affects everyone differently,” she says. “Think about whose eyes that’s falling on.”
Gulino also reminds parents that their children are watching them and learning from them.
“How are my parents handling adversity and maybe they’ll learn to self-medicate because they are watching their parents self-medicate. Self-mediate could be video games, overeating – so many things – oversleeping. Not just alcohol,” Gulino says.
Gulino does say that there is not anything wrong with responsibly enjoying a cocktail on the go or hosting a virtual happy hour, but she cautions New Jerseyans to be aware of their decision and to understand why they are making those choices.
“There are other ways to deal with what’s happening,” she says.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. More information about help regarding substance abuse can be found here:
Increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic


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