U.S. deaths involving alcohol rose 25.5% during the first year of the pandemic, a new study finds.
In contrast, the average annual increase in alcohol-related deaths between 1999 and 2017 was 2.2%, CNN reports.
In 2020, there were 99,107 alcohol-related deaths, including motor vehicle crashes that occurred as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2019, there were 78,927 alcohol-related deaths.
“We’re not surprised. It’s unfortunate, but we sort of expected to see something like this,” said lead study author Aaron White of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “It’s not uncommon for people to drink more when they’re under more duress, and obviously, the pandemic brought a lot of added stress to people’s lives. In addition to that, it reduced a lot of the normal outlets people have for coping with stress, [like] social support and access to gyms.”