LN – They warn that consuming alcohol in excess increases the chances of contagion of COVID-19

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For some specialists, the increase in alcohol consumption embodies additional risks to those already known in this pandemic context. Credit: Shutterstock

After the quarantine, and with the passing of the weeks, it became evident that the confinement situation, combined with the current context of uncertainty, had a direct relationship with the

increased consumption of dangerous substances and e

he alcohol tops the list

queries on line 141, of the Secretariat of Comprehensive Policies on Drugs of the Nation (Sedronar).

Also, the Observatory of Addictions and Problematic Consumptions dependent on the Ombudsman of the province of Buenos Aires prepared a report according to which

21% of people who consumed alcohol, tobacco and anxiolytics since before the measure, increased their intake

during isolation. In the specific case of alcoholic beverages, the number of people who consume them in greater quantity

rises to over a third

: they represent 36.5%.

For some specialists, increased alcohol consumption embodies

additional risks

to those already known in this context of pandemic. And they place special emphasis on people who are already drinkers. ”

Importantly, excessive alcohol could increase vulnerability to the spread of coronavirus due to its ability to affect the immune system.

“explains Fabián Triskier, a psychiatrist from the Child and Youth Department of the

Institute of Cognitive Neurology

(Ineco).

According to the specialist, Medicine has long observed the association between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse health effects, such as impaired immune capacity and increased susceptibility to pneumonia. “In the last decades, this association has expanded to a greater probability of serious symptoms of lung involvement, such as acute respiratory stress syndrome,” he points out.

According to Triskier, the

increased alcohol intake

during quarantine it is not accidental. “A recently published reader letter in a prestigious scientific publication highlights that the potential public health effects of long-term isolation on alcohol consumption and abuse are still unknown. However, the authors note that

stress is a major risk factor

for alcohol misuse and that, in turn, alcohol consumption is a factor that can affect emotional regulation mechanisms and consequently increase stress levels, “explains the specialist.

“We are immersed in a very, very difficult context. The feeling is that time does not pass. Many people feel the need to pour all their anguish into the consumption of a substance, such as alcohol. In those cases we recommend asking Help, whether it’s a family member, a friend or line 141 “, recommends Gabriela Torres, owner of Sedronar.

According to the study cited by Triskier, the authors warn about the possibility that prolonged isolations such as those we are experiencing could lead to an increase in alcohol abuse, relapses in alcoholics and, potentially, the development of alcohol use disorder in people at risk. “The World Health Organization, in a recent statement highlights the association of alcohol with mental disorders and alerts about the vulnerability of people at risk or who have an alcohol use disorder, especially when they are in periods of isolation” he adds.

Triskier recommends paying special attention to people who are chronic drinkers. “The inclusion of a glass of wine in meals does not seem to be worrying. But the increase in alcohol consumption and its purchase through delivery systems or the organization of virtual meetings to ‘drink together’ as they go along isolation days can contribute to suppressing immune responses and lead to

increased susceptibility to pneumonia caused by Covid-19

“he concludes.

More information on quarantined addictions

Where to ask for help

  • Line 141:

    the Sedronar

    It has a free and anonymous line of first listening, which provides information, care and support for situations of problematic consumption of alcohol and other substances, works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, throughout the country.

  • Toxicology Unit of the Fernández Hospital

    : Provide telephone service at (011) 4808-2655 or 4801-7767.
  • Manantiales Foundation:

    the foundation

    It is dedicated to the investigation, prevention and comprehensive care of different addictions, from drug addiction and alcoholism, to techno addiction. Tel .: (011) 4382-8500.

  • Fundartox

    : It is dedicated to the promotion, prevention, diagnosis, assistance, teaching and research related to toxicology. WhatsApp: 11-4404-8004;

    https://fundartox.org

  • Alcoholics Anonymous

    : Provide listening and assistance with a 12-step alcohol recovery program, operate across the country; places can be known in

    https://aa.org.ar

    ; They currently have virtual meetings.

  • Al-Anon:

    It is a community resource that provides help to those affected by compulsive drinking from a family member or friend. Until the quarantine is lifted they are holding online meetings. Tels .: 0800-333-0784 and WhatsApp: 11-3256-4729; More information in

    www.alanon.org.ar

    or write to [email protected]

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Publicado en el diario La Nación