Excellent article by reporter Yuki Noguchi of NPR describes how cases of alcoholic liver disease — which includes milder fatty liver and the permanent scarring of cirrhosis, as well as alcoholic hepatitis — are up 30% over the last year at the University of Michigan’s health system, says Dr. Jessica Mellinger, a liver specialist there.
More startling, the increase disproportionally impacts young women.
Alcoholic liver disease often takes years to manifest. But it can become a threat for women more quickly because their bodies process alcohol somewhat differently than men’s.
So why the increased drinking? The reasons are clear.
Noguchi reports that women have borne the brunt of many new pressures of pandemic life, from virtual school and increased responsibilities at home, even as ads and pop culture have continued to validate the idea of drinking to cope: Mommy Juice, Rosé All Day, Wine Down Wednesdays. On top of that, eating disorders and underlying trauma from physical or sexual violence often add fuel to the fire, fanned by social isolation.
Just the sheer amount of trauma is really, really tragic,” said psychiatrist Dr. Scott Winder, a clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan who treats patients with alcoholic liver disease.
As stay-at-home orders began in some US states as a mitigation strategy for COVID-19 transmission, Nielsen IQ reported a 54% increase in national sales of alcohol for the week ending March 21, 2020, compared with 1 year before; online sales increased 262% from 2019.1 Three weeks later, the World Health Organization warned that alcohol use during the pandemic may potentially exacerbate health concerns and risk-taking behaviors.
Please contact my office if you a friend or family face alcohol related charges like DUI or any other crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.