Alabama residents bought 10% more booze last month, possible sign of mental health struggles, expert says

Published 10:37 am Friday, April 17, 2020

Alabama’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board reported a 10% increase in sales last month, and medical professionals say the spike in demand may signal struggles with mental health.

The ABC Board made over $6 million more in sales in March 2020, compared to last March, WBMA-TV reported. The sales boost is being attributed to the new coronavirus, which has led to social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders.

“When you can’t go out with your buddies or you can’t have your friends in for a nice meal and an alcoholic beverage, then you tend to want to keep something out of that scenario normal and that is the sale of alcohol,” said Dean Argo of the ABC Board.

But, measures in place to help prevent the spread of the virus could exacerbate mental health conditions that lead to some people consuming more alcohol, the television station reported.

“The first step is to recognize what emotions you are going through,” said Dr. Amin Gilani, psychiatrist at Brookwood Hospital. Once you identify your emotions then it makes it easier to deal with it.”

Gilani also recommended people focus on distancing, but stay social.

“We need to reach out to more people and talk to each other,” Gilani said.