It's well documented that alcohol consumption in the U.S. jumped by more than 20% in 2020, driven in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers at Mass General have just published research in the journal Hepatology[i] that looks at the long-term health consequences of that single-year increase.
Their findings are troubling.
They're estimating that one year increase in alcohol consumption will lead to 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040.
They're also projecting that pandemic-related alcohol consumption increases will cause 100 additional deaths and 2,800 additional cases of liver failure by 2023.
They warn that if the pandemic increase in alcohol consumption is sustained for more than a year, the U.S. may see an additional 19–35% in alcohol-related mortality.
This data suggests that COVID-19 has resulted in more Americans suffering from alcohol abuse syndrome, with severe long-term consequences for themselves and their families.
The hopeful news is that compete abstinence does appear to allow for full or at least partial recovery from the damaging effects of alcohol – particularly if the problem is treated early.[ii]
If you're struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and need help in Southern Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.