Alcohol and the Coronavirus: Does Drinking Put You at Risk for COVID-19?
Dominic NicosiaSeptember 23, 2020
As more and more bars and restaurants continue to reopen across the country, one of the peripheral conversations has been centered around the relationship between drinking and COVID-19. There is no shortage of myths about the “magical” healing powers of alcohol, including the belief that it can protect against certain types of viral infections. Most recently, this myth has permeated the COVID-19 prevention landscape, with many people saying alcohol can fight the coronavirus.
Allow us, along with the World Health Organization (WHO), to set the record straight: drinking does not protect you from COVID-19, no matter how much alcohol you consume. What it can do, however, is increase your associated health risks if you become infected with the virus, making infection much more urgent.
How Does Drinking Put You at Risk for COVID-19?
There are multiple physical and lifestyle factors through which excessive drinking puts you at risk for COVID-19, including but not limited to:
- Impaired Organ Function – There is no documented “safe limit” of drinking that will protect your internal organs from damage. Impaired organ processing can play a significant role in your ability to fight off certain types of viral infections, especially those that affect the heart and liver.
- Weakened Immune System – Heavy drinking can compromise the immune system, weakening its ability to fight off infectious diseases, like COVID-19.
- (ARDS) – Excessive drinking increases the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), one of the most severe complications of COVID-19.
- Impaired Judgment – Ask yourself how likely you are to observe basic CDC-encouraged protocols, like wearing a mask, social distancing or basic common-sense things, like avoiding bottle-sharing, when you’re intoxicated.
With higher and higher rates of infection documented in bars throughout the country, we’re seeing an increasingly clear correlation between alcohol and the coronavirus. Heavy drinking also creates high-risk scenarios that can divert the efforts of doctors and hospital personnel from effectively treating increased caseloads.
Alcohol and the Coronavirus: Separating the Myth from Reality
In addition to the misguided belief that alcohol strengthens the immune system, there are two other commonly spread myths about the relationship between alcohol and the coronavirus, including:
- Claim: Alcohol destroys the virus that causes COVID-19. Fact: Alcohol consumption at a volume of 60 percent may kill certain viruses on the skin, but does not have the same effect in the immune system.
- Claim: Drinking high-proof alcohol kills airborne transmission. Fact: Consumption of alcohol will not kill the virus in the inhaled air, nor will it disinfect the mouth or throat.
Ultimately, the best way to find how much drinking puts you at risk for COVID-19 is by talking to your doctor about it and telling them your concerns.
Eliminating the Connection and Getting Help
If you feel as though you or your loved one are drinking too much, there is not only a heightened risk of COVID-19, but also a host of other serious long-term health and quality-of-life issues. Recovery Unplugged is ready to help you protect yourself from these dangers by offering quality, comprehensive alcohol treatment. We offer medical detox to help you dry out safely and comfortably, as well as comprehensive behavioral rehab to help you identify and address the root causes of your alcohol abuse. Don’t let your drinking put you at risk for COVID-19. Contact Recovery Unplugged today to start your treatment journey.
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