Lansing – As Michiganders hunker down with stay-at-home orders during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) urges moderation in booze drinking as it recognizes April as Alcohol Awareness Month.
“During this time of coronavirus, be careful of excessive drinking because it can compromise a person’s immune system,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “Moderation is important. Don’t underestimate how much you have actually been drinking.”
Alcohol consumption is rapidly rising. Nationally, sales of alcoholic beverages spiked 55 percent in the week ending March 21, compared to the same time last year. Sales of spirits, like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails jumped 75 percent compared to the same dates in 2019. Beer purchases were up by 66 percent; wine, up 42 percent year-on-year.*
Keep these tips in mind for alcohol awareness:
- Know that alcohol products are increasingly more potent, such as consumer favorites of hard liquors, including tequila and gin.
- Know what a standard “drink” is: 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content); 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content); or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor (40% alcohol content) — gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, etc.
- Know consumption guidelines for healthy adults: one drink a day for women of all ages and men over age 65; up to two drinks a day for men under age 65.
- Don’t binge drink. For women, it’s those who drink more than four drinks in an outing and men who drink more than five.
- Know that heavy drinking can lead to chronic diseases, including problems with your liver, throat, larynx and esophagus. It can lead to high blood pressure, psychological problems, and pancreatitis. And, ultimately the risk of becoming an alcoholic.
- Never drink while pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop drinking alcohol.
While quarantined at home, enjoy drinking alcohol in moderation:
- Set limits on how much you’re drinking.
- Don’t relax your rules; stick with your usual limits on alcohol.
- Consider low- or no-alcohol drinks.
- Limit sugary cocktails that can impact your immune system especially if you already have underlying health conditions.
Gagliardi also encourages parents to talk to their kids about the risks of underage drinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year and can lead to early addiction, among other dangerous outcomes. Studies show that parents are the leading influencers of their children’s decisions on whether or not to drink.