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ST. LOUIS – When does an occasional glass of wine become a concern? Researchers say they have started seeing a dangerous trend of increased alcohol use during the COVID pandemic.

A survey published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that 60% of the more than 800 respondents were drinking more than before the pandemic.

Forty-five percent of participants said their reasons for drinking included increased stress, particularly in women.

“In addition to childcare, that with being a mom also be teachers in many cases so the stress has gone through the roof so alcohol at least in the short term can be a nice coping strategy to deal with stress,” Dr. Carrie Mintz, Washington University psychiatrist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, said.

In addition to stress, boredom and increased alcohol availability are factors according to researchers. Mintz gives us questions a person should ask themselves or ask a family member if they suspect that maybe there is an issue with overdrinking?

“If you notice that the person is giving up activities they use to participate in order to be able to drink, are they finding that they’re thinking about drinking about alcohol for a large portion of the day, is it causing conflicts in their interpersonal relationships or at their job,” Mintz said.

Be aware of what is considered hazardous drinking: one or fewer drinks a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

Mintz said if you have concerns, start by telling your primary care doctor.