Alcohol consumption rose by 14% in 2020. Women, in particular, drank heavily on more days than normal, by over 40%.
Gwenyth Paltrow is the author of a healthy cookbook (The Clean Plate; eat, reset, heal which contains recipes free of alcohol, gluten, processed foods, sugars, caffeine, red meat, dairy, peanuts and soy) and found herself “falling off the rails” during the pandemic with excessive drinking.
While she explains that she wasn’t drinking to the point of blacking out, she was drinking multiple cocktails every night while locked down during the health crisis. She also abandoned her healthy habits in other ways, seeking comfort in pasta and bread.
It would be a stretch to label Gwenyth Paltrow drinking as a problem based on her conversation with The Mirror, but anyone who has ever crossed the line from situational into the disease of alcoholism can remember a time when drinking wasn’t a “problem.”
Heavy drinking and binge drinking are defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov):
Heavy Drinking is measured within a 7 day period where men consume 15 drinks or more, and women consume 8 drinks or more
Binge Drinking is measured within a sitting (usually within a 2 hour timeframe) where men consume 5 or more drinks, and women consume 4 or more.
Drinking a large quantity of alcohol can weaken defenses. As Paltrow bravely disclosed her “off point” food choices, she also started craving cigarettes (although there’s no indication she fell off that wagon).
With such a significant rise in the consumption of alcohol and other comfort substances, we are reminded of the importance substance abuse treatment plays in our communities when heavy or binge drinking crosses the line into drug and alcohol dependence. Alcoholism and addiction pays no attention to age, gender, financial statements, ethnicity, or neighborhoods.