The anxiety and isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic were difficult to bear for many people, and we all had to find ways to dull the stress and loneliness. And for many New Jersey residents, relief came at the bottom of a bottle.
According to DrugAbuse.com, a leading provider of substance abuse treatment resources, the average New Jerseyan consumed a staggering 1,130 ‘standard size’ drinks in 2020. That averages out to 17 drinks per week, exceeding ‘heavy drinking’ as defined by the CDC, which is 14 drinks per week for men and 7 drinks per week for women. A ‘standard drink’ is defined as 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol), 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol), or 1.5 ounces of liquor (40% alcohol).
Across the US, 1 in 4 drinkers admitted to consuming more alcohol during the lockdowns. The state in which residents drank the most was Alaska, with an average of 27 drinks per week during lockdown. The states in which people drank the least were Hawaii and New Hampshire, averaging at “just” 10 drinks a week. Overall, New Jerseyans drank the 3rd-most alcoholic drinks of any US state in 2020.
A separate survey by the American Addiction Centers found that 1 in 5 people who became unemployed due to the pandemic used alcohol as a coping mechanism.