“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented level of stress and anxiety,” says Judith Marayelle, psychologist and addiction counselor. “Many people are turning to alcohol to help ease that stress. It’s a natural coping mechanism to indulge, but it can lead to alcohol abuse – even addiction if you’re not careful.”
Judith Marayelle warns that conditions are especially grim for those already struggling with alcohol addiction. “Addiction is a disease of isolation. When you can’t combat that isolation with face-to-face social interaction or AA meetings, etc., you run the risk of relapse. Add to that the break in routine, the fear of resources dwindling, and the possibility of losing your job or your home…It’s a recipe for disaster.”
Judith Marayelle Cautions Us To Cut Down On Consumption
“This is advice for those who are struggling with alcohol abuse,” says addiction counselor Judith Marayelle. “The less you drink during quarantine, the better. This isn’t a place to form healthy drinking habits.”
“Don’t listen to that ‘alcohol kills germs’ nonsense,” cautions Marayelle. “That only works if you pour it on your hands. The truth is that long term alcohol consumption suppresses the immune system and makes you more susceptible to diseases and viruses like coronavirus.”
She advises to try and cut your alcohol consumption back to no more than two drinks one or two days a week and to try to avoid hard liquor.
Stay Connected Urges Judith Marayelle
“Another way to fight alcohol abuse or addiction during quarantine is to stay connected with your friends, your family, and other loved ones,” advises Judith Marayelle. Social distancing limits the amount of contact and close interactions we can have, but there are still ways to reach out.
“A lot of my clients hate video calls,” says Judith Marayelle. “But talking through text or on the phone doesn’t have the same dopamine-releasing effects as seeing someone face-to-face. So take a deep breath and Facetime or Zoom them. Your friends don’t care what you look like – they just want to connect with you.” Staying in touch with your support system is crucial to fighting the isolation and loneliness of quarantine that can lead to chronic drinking or relapse.
Judith suggests scheduling calls at certain times – talking to your mother every Wednesday evening, for instance – so you have something to look forward to and a reminder that you’re not alone every time you glance at your calendar.
Judith Marayelle has been a psychologist and addiction counselor for over thirty years. She has a particular interest in working with those affected by alcohol abuse and addiction. Judith Marayelle offers safe, heartfelt help to anyone who wants to control their drinking, quit, or who has tried treatment or AA and is seeking a different approach.