Marijuana and Alcohol Use Increases in Parents During Pandemic
Normally, when parents worry about marijuana and alcohol use, they’re concerned about their children partaking in recreational drugs and underage drinking. In a COVID-afflicted world, however, many more parents than ever before have started to ask themselves if their own drinking and drug habits have started spinning out of control. 
In the Absence of Normal Coping Methods, Many People Have Turned to Substances as a Way to Manage Stress.
What do you get when you ask a generation of parents to turn their daily lives upside down, begin working from home without childcare, help their children with online classes, put their careers and finances in jeopardy, and take care of elderly loved ones during a global pandemic? You get daily stress levels that are off the charts.
Many work-from-home parents are forced to continue their usual eight-hour workdays surrounded by kids, spouses, family pets, and all the interruptions of home life. Once the workday ends, they must transition seamlessly from work into home life, with no clear distinction of where work ends and parenting begins.
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Even parents who continue going to work outside the house as usual now have to scramble to find childcare. They’re competing for precious few open spots in daycares and worrying about putting their families at risk for the virus because of all of the contact with the outside world.
Less lucky parents who have lost their jobs due to COVID may instead spend their days in a panicked frenzy, applying to jobs and never hearing back, feeling like they are sending resume after resume out into an empty void.
Nowhere to Turn for the Normal Healthy Coping Mechanisms
When you take into consideration that many or most of the typical “healthy” coping mechanisms, such as meeting up with friends, spending time with family, going to the gym, or having a date night out with your spouse, have all been made more difficult or impossible because of the pandemic, it’s truly no wonder parents feel like they have nowhere else to turn for downtime besides marijuana and alcohol.
The Effects of Legalized Marijuana
Especially in states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, parents are tempted around every corner to self-medicate in order to relax at the end of long, hectic, unrelenting days.
When it feels like your only option for “me time” is to pour another glass of wine or sneak off for a quick vape in the garage, it’s natural to wonder if you’re spiraling out of control.
With overall alcohol consumption up 14% in 2020 from just a year ago , you can at least rest assured that you are not alone. Women, in particular, have experienced an increase in “heavy drinking” days of 41% in the past year, and a corresponding 39% increase  in “alcohol-related problems.”
If you find yourself in this boat, don’t despair. There is help available if you need it.
What are Some of the Signs That You May Need Some Help?
Though the line between coping mechanisms and a budding addiction may be blurry when you’re stuck at home during a pandemic, there are some telltale signs that you might be treading closer to the troublesome territory.
Ask yourself if any of the following scenarios sound familiar:
- You pour some alcohol or use marijuana more and more frequently, or you’re using greater quantities of these substances over time to get the same effect 
- You find yourself skipping other activities (time with your family, for example) to drink or use marijuana 
- You feel like you can’t (or you have tried and failed to) go a day without using marijuana or alcohol 
- You feel your use of marijuana or alcohol may be making existing depression or anxiety worse 
- You have considered starting to use other substances
- You feel, or you are beginning to suspect, that substance use is affecting your mood, your relationships, your performance at work, or your daily life in general
If Marijuana and Alcohol Use Has Started to Affect Your Life, Call Desert Cove Recovery
Are you among the growing percentage of parents who have become concerned over their marijuana and alcohol use during the pandemic? Have you noticed any of the signs listed above that may mean you’re struggling with the beginning of an addiction?
For many people in your position, who have turned to marijuana and alcohol use in order to mentally and emotionally survive 2020, it can be hard to recognize and admit to yourself when a small daily relaxation habit starts turning into a problem. When other parents around you pour another glass and laugh about “mommy wine,” it’s tempting to do the same thing.
Don’t wait until your reliance on substances gets worse. Contact Desert Cove Recovery today and ask about our convenient outpatient services.
Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/style/am-i-drinking-too-much.html  https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2770975?widget=personalizedcontent&previousarticle=187