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'Dry January' comes after year of increased alcohol sales

A traditional holiday detox, may be someones first

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — The CDC tells people what to do if they find themselves drinking excessively during the pandemic.

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows state by state alcohol sales during 2020.

NPR reports that drinking is up 14% during the pandemic.

Headline after headline told us how liquor sales went up as moral dropped last year. Now 'Dry January', has started but it may be harder for some to participate if they picked up a habit instead of a holiday glass.

A Network 180 rehabilitation counselor told us why the pandemic created the perfect situation for substance abuse. 

"Our society stigmatizes substance use and yet we also glamorize it at the same time, we glamorize the fun and don't really look at the long term effect that it has on the human body," addiction specialist, Elisha Ash said. "Our social contacts, our relationships, the legal system, all of those things. And when you factor in the isolation that came with COVID. It was almost a recipe for, an escalation and substance use."

Ash discusses that it's important for individuals battling addiction to attend more meetings and go to counseling. 

"Alcohol itself is a depressant. We look at it as something that I do for social occasions and for celebration. However, it is a depressant, so it affects all of our body systems, our mood, our emotions, our internal organs," said Ash. "After prolonged use it just kind of snowballs where it's not just depressing our mood and our emotions."

But for all of those participating just for the cleanse and not for the new life, remember that alcohol may come in the form of a nice drink, but before it is a beverage, alcohol is a drug.

For more information, visit Network 180's website. 

    

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