We all handle stress differently. Some people do yoga, some cry to their therapists, some chug a bottle of pinot noir after reading the New York Times on the train.
The latter is apparently becoming a problem.
Munchies reports on the rise of “headline stress disorder,” which is causing perfectly responsible adults to develop pretty bad alcohol problems. While post-election stress was reported on at length following the 2016 election, the evidence that we might have a problem keeps piling up:
- Bars and taverns alone are expected to bring in $19.8 billion dollars in 2017, a 2.5 percent increase from the $19.3 billion they earned in 2016, the National Restaurant Association reports.
- Booze delivery service Drizly said it had an an 86 percent increase in orders the night of the 2016 election compared to a typical Tuesday, and other alcohol delivery apps saw the same trend.
- Problematic drinking, which researchers say means drinking to the point of disrupting your life, increased by nearly 50 percent between 2002 and 2013.
Even before the ultra-stressful campaign and election, our drinking habits were heading in a scary direction, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, which notes that women and minorities are turning to the bottle for comfort. Hmm, I wonder why.
Donald Trump is not a typical Republican, but even if he were liberals would likely be boozing extra hard right about now. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Wine Economics showed that liberals tend to consume more alcohol on average than conservatives:
“Holding everything else constant, our findings suggest that when a state becomes more liberal politically, its population consumes more beer and spirits per capita, but possibly less wine per capita,” researchers said.
The why wasn’t explored in depth here, but researchers hypothesized that “people of a more liberal persuasion tend to be more open to new experiences, including the consumption of alcohol or drugs.” Another theory that appears to be written by my father is that liberals think “government healthcare and social welfare [will] pick up the pieces of their socially irresponsible behavior.”
While it’s hard to get solid data on how much drinking habits have changed from 2015 to 2017, the anecdotes in the Munchies piece ring true here in progressive Chicago. Whether it’s drinking more to cope with infuriating family conversations or seeking comfort in like-minded friends over beers—we might want to switch to a mocktail once in awhile.