ROCHESTER, Minn. - With fewer jobs, death of loved ones, and isolation, people have been relying on alcohol to minimize their negative mood states.
In a study done by psychiatrist and substance abuse researcher Dr. Pravesh Sharma, he found 34 percent of participants reported a shift in substance use and 70 percent increasing their alcohol usage.
"We think that this could be because of patients staying at home most of the time and other stress around COVID-19," said Sharma.
Dr. Sharma's research didn't look into what kind of alcohol people are consuming but Ed Campbell, the owner of Woody's Liquor, knows what his customers are drinking.
"There's a lot of wine, dark liquors, and not so much beers and seltzers," said Campbell.
When Governor Walz's new restrictions become effective, Campbell expects his business to continue with an upward trend.
"The younger folks typically that are out to the bars and restaurants are going to be here buying their wine so they sit at home and drink it there," he explained.
Sharma also noticed those who have a history of loneliness, anxiety, and depression, are more at risk with substance abuse change. He recommends staying connected with others through technology and taking a break from alcohol this holiday season.