The United States is in the grips of a nationwide drug and alcohol epidemic that has left no community untouched. Though the opioid crisis has been widely publicized, our nation’s drinking problem is even more prevalent. As a country, we drink an average of 2.35 gallons of alcohol per capita per year.
While high rates of drinking and drug use have been an ongoing health issue for years, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse. The stress of an unprecedented international public health emergency – coupled with the drastic measures taken to stop it – has had dire consequences. Since the pandemic began in 2020, people have sharply increased their use and abuse of drugs like alcohol, methamphetamines and opioids. Worse yet, our nation has yet to begin reckoning with the long-term ramifications of prolonged, large-scale trauma.
Factors such as social isolation, worsening anxiety and lack of access to qualified substance use disorder treatment have continued exacerbating the existing addiction epidemic, causing some casual users to escalate their drug and alcohol intake and people in recovery to relapse. According to CDC statistics, more than 99,000 Americans died from overdoses between April 2020 and April 2021 – an alarming 29% increase from the previous year.
Though alcohol is legal, socially acceptable and widely believed to be less harmful than illicit drugs, it kills more people every year than all other addictive substances combined. Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Hawaii are among the states with the highest alcohol consumption, at 16, 19 and 29 gallons per capita, respectively.
In December 2021, a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital published a study estimating the projected rates of liver disease and related deaths due to high-risk binge drinking that escalated due to COVID-19. They projected that a one-year increase in pandemic-related alcohol consumption will result in 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040.
Professionals Treating Professionals
If you have a drinking or drug problem, the first step to getting help is to admit your behavior is out of control. That’s often easier said than done for professional adults who have succeeded in high-pressure careers and managed to maintain the façade that all is well among people who rely on them to exceed expectations.
Providence Treatment is 100% focused on providing world-class substance abuse and behavioral health treatment for health professionals, business owners, clergy members, pilots, attorneys and military veterans. We have designed our facility for high-achieving people seeking a transformative experience in a quiet and comfortable environment. Participants who complete our structured, customized program can return to fulfilling lives and careers without the burden of addiction holding them back.
To learn more about finding the support you need to overcome a substance use disorder, discover sustained sobriety and get personalized help that allows you to continue progressing in your chosen profession, connect with us today.