Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is the substance in alcoholic beverages that is responsible for most of the harms that arise from their consumption, irrespective of whether it is consumed in the form of wine, beer, spirits or anything else.

Unfortunately, other toxic substances that may smell like ethanol can be added in adulterated beverages that are produced informally or illegally; or they may be present in alcoholic products that are not intended for human consumption, such as hand disinfectant. Added substances such as methanol can be fatal even in small amounts or may lead to blindness and kidney disease, among other problems. According to media reports and anecdotal sources, deaths related to the ingestion of such alcoholic products, based on the mistaken belief that they will somehow offer protection against the virus, have already occurred in some countries during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Alcohol use disorders are characterized by heavy alcohol use and loss of control over alcohol intake. Although they are among the most prevalent mental disorders globally, they are also among the most stigmatized.

People with an alcohol use disorder are at greater risk of COVID-19 not only because of the impact of alcohol on their health but also because they are more likely to experience homelessness or incarceration than other members of the population. It is therefore essential, under the current conditions, that people who need help because of their alcohol use get all the support they need.

The COVID-19 pandemic can be considered a major stressful event that affects daily life for people throughout most of the world. Mental health experts fear that the stress, uncertainty, and trauma of the pandemic could precipitate a mental health crisis in the United States and elsewhere. Alcohol use could escalate during the pandemic, leading to a greater treatment need and a greater burden of alcohol on public health. Combining available data on alcohol sales, including both on-premise (e.g., bars and restaurants) and off-premise (e.g., liquor and grocery stores) locations, during the pandemic suggests that sales increased roughly 5% overall in March 2020 but returned to near pre-pandemic levels in May 2020. Sales data do not indicate whether some people are drinking more. A recent survey by the Research Triangle Institute found that roughly 40% of respondents reported an increase in alcohol use during the pandemic, whereas 30% reported a decrease. Another survey suggested that greater COVID-related distress was associated with larger increases in alcohol use (Koob, Powell, & White, 2020).

In order to ensure that you are on the safer side not only for your own self but the for your loved ones as well, it is important to have some clinical and medical help in the same regards.

Serene Retreat is one of the leading Addiction and Mental Health Treatment provider based in Malaysia with its branches locally and abroad which is working for the betterment of the people and working on their treatment processes with all the SOPs in practice and continue to bring healthy positive changes in their lifestyles.

For more information about our treatment programs you can reach us via Call/Whatsapp +60 14-687 2268 or visit our website


Koob, G. F., Powell, P., & White, A. (2020). Addiction as a coping response: hyperkatifeia, deaths of despair, and COVID-19. American Journal of Psychiatry, 177(11), 1031-1037.

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