The problem of alcohol consumption during quarantine

There are a variety of healthy ways to get through the days of confinement at home because of the coronavirus, such as exercising, watching a television series, learning new things through the Internet, among others. But there are also other things that are not so healthy, and in this case we talk about consuming alcoholic beverages in excess.

(You may also be interested in: What to do to keep fit during quarantine)

Certain people drink alcohol to make the moment more enjoyable in the company of family and friends, but the problem arises when there is an abuse of the drink, being so severe that the affected person would not have sufficient control to suppress the impulses and stop consuming them. That is why, since the beginning of the quarantine, it has been observed that many people have abused alcohol, and so much so that they have reached the point of addiction.

Facts about alcohol and the human body

Ethanol, which is commonly known by the name of ethyl alcohol, is within the content of an alcoholic beverage, being the main cause of almost all the damages that are caused by its consumption, regardless of whether it is a wine, a beer, or any other kind of drink.

Unfortunately, there are other types of substances that have an odor similar to ethyl alcohol, which in certain cases are added to all those drinks that are produced illegally, or that are among the components of products with alcohol that are not suitable for be consumed by people, as with hand sanitizing gel. This class of substances is deadly regardless of whether it is a fairly small amount, as is the case with methanol.

Information from anecdotal sources, as well as from newspaper reports, assure that in certain countries, in the course of the confinement by coronavirus, deaths have been registered that have to do with the consumption of this class of products that contain ethyl alcohol. There is a false belief that they offer some protective function against the virus in question.

In this situation, it is important to keep in mind the following data that have to do with alcohol consumption and health:

– Alcohol is a substance that generates effects, either in the short or long term, in any of the organs that make up the human body. In a general aspect, there is no evidence to indicate the existence of a safe limit. Furthermore, the risk of causing health damage increases with each glass of alcohol consumed.

– Consuming alcoholic beverages, especially when done excessively, causes the immune system to weaken and, therefore, the ability to cope with diseases that are infectious is decreased.

– If a pregnant woman consumes alcohol, even though the amount is very small, puts the baby at risk.

– Increases the risk, severity and also the frequency in victimization and all kinds of acts that have to do with interpersonal violence, as in the case of domestic violence, youth violence, sexual violence, mistreatment of the elderly and child violence.

– To drink alcohol increases risk of trauma caused by traffic accidents, by drowning as well as by falls.

– An excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of acute shortness of breath, being this one of the most serious complications among people who have been infected with coronavirus.

Myths about alcohol consumption and the coronavirus

Myth: Drinking alcoholic beverages offers the opportunity to destroy the coronavirus within the body.

True: Drinking alcoholic beverages does not destroy the virus in question, it is most likely to increase the risk of respiratory complications in those who have been infected. When the alcohol concentration exceeds 60%, it can act as a disinfectant if placed on the skin, but if ingested, it causes internal damage to the body.

Myth: Consuming alcoholic beverages with a high alcohol content helps to kill the virus present in the air that has been inhaled.

True: Consuming alcohol does not kill the virus found in inhaled air, so it also does not disinfect the mouth and less the throat. Thus, it does not work as a protective agent to eliminate or avoid getting COVID-19.

Myth: Drinks containing ethyl alcohol are of great help to stimulate the immune system and to increase resistance against viruses.

True: Any alcoholic beverage is highly toxic to the immune system, reason why it does not stimulate the immune function either and less the resistance against the viruses.

What to do and what not to do when consuming alcohol in quarantine

– Avoid alcohol consumption so you don't weaken your immune system Nor your health in general and also avoid putting the health of other people at risk.

– Do not consume alcoholic beverages, since it will improve attention, act faster and have a better ability to make decisions while the mind is clear, either for yourself, your family or any other member of your community.

– In case you decide to drink, it is recommended that it be in very small quantities and avoiding reaching drunkenness.

It prevents alcohol consumption from becoming a factor that greatly favors tobacco consumption, and vice versa. This is because there are people who have a greater tendency to smoke, or do so more when consuming alcoholic beverages. Smoking only increases the risk of complications at the respiratory level, being highly dangerous if the person is infected by coronavirus. Do not forget that smoking indoors is highly toxic to the rest of the inhabitants of the house, and therefore it is necessary to avoid it.

– You must make sure that young people, adolescents and children do not have access to alcoholic beverages, and also avoid being observed drinking alcohol. It is important to be an example to follow for the youngest at home. It is also important to talk with young people about the problems that are related to alcoholic beverages and COVID-19, such as violations in quarantine and also physical withdrawal, as they are factors that can worsen the current world situation.

– Avoid mixing alcoholic beverages with medications, since the effectiveness of these is reduced, or they become a highly harmful product and therefore dangerous for the body.

– Do not drink alcohol if you are currently taking any medication, whose composition affects the nervous system, as in the case of analgesics, antidepressants, among others. Otherwise, ethyl alcohol would seriously interfere with liver activity, causing liver failure or a serious health complication.

Social distancing and alcohol consumption

As a protective measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended putting physical remoteness into practice. Therefore, casinos, restaurants, bars, clubs and any other place where people gather to consume alcohol, increase the virus's ability to spread among people.

Physical distancing decreases the availability of these alcoholic products and in addition to that, it is a great opportunity to reduce their consumption, as well as to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Home confinement and alcoholic beverages

To set limits on the spread of the coronavirus, many countries have progressively implemented community isolation measures and also impose periods of confinement for all those who have been infected with the virus or who have at some point contacted infected people. This means that a large number of people must remain in the home.

It is very important to understand that alcoholic beverages pose a risk to health as well as to safety in general, so avoid consuming them as long as home quarantine persists.

In case you have to work from home, you must respect each of the rules established by the workplace and avoid consuming alcohol. Do not forget that once the lunch break is over, you need to be in optimal conditions to continue with work activities, and you could not do it properly while intoxicated.

It is more important to invest time, money and any other resource in buying healthier foods with an excellent nutritional contribution, which will be of great help to your overall health.

Alcoholic beverages should not be used as a measure to control stress, since they will only increase the symptoms that appear in anxiety, anguish, depression and in other kinds of mental disorders, apart from also increasing the risk of domestic violence.

Under no circumstances should you initiate young people into alcohol, nor should you be drunk in front of them. Neglect and mistreatment of minors can be increased due to alcohol consumption. Following this, it avoids that the alcoholic drinks are within the reach of the children.

Disorders caused by consuming alcohol and the coronavirus

Disorders caused by consuming alcohol are specifically characterized by excessive consumption of these products and lack of self-control. Although they are among the most common mental disorders worldwide, they are also one of the most tainted.

Those people who have an alcohol consumption disorder have a fairly high risk of contracting coronavirus, not simply because of the effects of alcohol on health, it is also due to the high probability that these people end up indigent or in prison . On the other hand, it is essential that those who require help related to alcohol abuse receive all the necessary support.

If you or anyone close to you has a problem related to excessive alcohol consumption, you should keep these things in mind:

– Currently we are in a situation that becomes a good opportunity to Decrease alcohol consumptionThis is because it is a circumstance in which certain factors disappear as well as situations that generate social pressure, such as parties.

– If you are in contact with any support group or with specialists through the Internet, you will get better help, since it favors anonymity and you do not put yourself in danger.

– Create a support system Among friends or trusted people it can become an excellent method in case you need additional help or advice.

– Put the physical distance without isolating yourself from society. Make phone calls, communicate with friends and family through text messages, among others. You can also discover other ways to communicate that are much more creative, without involving physical contact.

Avoid witnessing stimulating ads about alcohol through audiovisual media. You should also be very careful with hyperlinks that redirect you to social networks that are sponsored by some alcoholic beverage industry.

– Try to carry a daily routine As much as possible, focus on the things you can keep under control and try to do physical activity to stay in shape, such as exercising at home or implementing mental relaxation techniques.

In case you have been infected with coronavirus, it is important to mention to medical personnel your problem with alcohol consumption. In this way, specialists will make the appropriate decisions to offer the best treatment.


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