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Cabin fever got you feeling like it’s a good time for cocktails? You might want to reconsider

Surgeon General recommends avoiding all alcohol, drugs

Glass of wine.
Glass of wine.

If you weren’t already getting cabin fever, perhaps you are by now. With most of the nation adhering to stay-at-home orders, you might be running out of things to keep yourself busy. And at the end of a long, hard day, it’s not surprising if more people are reaching for a cocktail or two.

But know this: Drinking excessively can harm your health. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the experts we’re looking to the most right now amid the coronavirus pandemic.

To lay some slight groundwork, you should understand first that, according to the CDC, binge drinking is:

  • Four or more drinks on an occasion for a woman.
  • Five or more drinks on an occasion for a man.

To that end, even heavy drinking is considered:

  • Eight or more drinks per week for a woman.
  • Fifteen or more drinks per week for a man.
The CDC lists the sizes of a "standard drink."
The CDC lists the sizes of a "standard drink."

The CDC estimates that one in six, or 37 million U.S. adults, binge drink about once a week, and nine in 10 adults who binge drink do not have alcohol use disorder, what the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism describes as a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake and a negative emotional state when not using.

Someone who drinks excessively can see chronic health problems, and know this: Some of those health problems are what the CDC says can make a person’s risk for contracting COVID-19 higher.

Chronic problems from excessive drinking include high blood pressure, heart and liver disease, stroke and cancer, according to the CDC.

While the CDC states that, because the novel coronavirus is so new, there is still limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease, current information shows, and clinical experts have stated, that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions -- like those mentioned above -- could be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

[Click here to see a full list of groups that are at higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19.]

Drinking less reduces your risk of getting sick in general, the CDC says, but especially while we’re all doing our best to keep COVID-19 at bay.

While we aren’t saying no one should have a drink, and moderation is the recommendation from the experts, the Surgeon General recommends avoiding all alcohol and drugs.


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