In these unprecedented times, is your social drinking becoming risky?

By Regence
June 10, 2020
Regence Dr. Amy Khan

Dr. Amy Khan, executive medical director at Regence, shares tips and resources

Across the country, alcohol sales escalated during the coronavirus pandemic. While the trend may have been partially related to bars and restaurants being closed for several weeks, many health care providers are concerned about the potential for increased alcohol misuse.

Of course, many people enjoy social drinking and use alcohol responsibility—and that’s okay! However, the uncertainty of these times and increased stress levels may lead some social drinkers to unknowingly develop a pattern of risky alcohol use or even develop addiction. Therefore, it is important to be aware of patterns related to alcohol misuse and how to avoid becoming addicted.

In the video below, Dr. Amy Khan provides important self-awareness questions to help gauge unhealthy patterns of alcohol use. She also shares some active steps that social drinkers can take to guard against risky drinking during any time of acute stress.

Here are a few more tips on how to turn down the volume on troubling thoughts and intense emotions:

  • Tend to your emotions: Identify feelings and express them with another person through talking, or through writing or journaling
  • Stay social: Connect with a friend, family member or supporter at least twice a day
  • Reduce stress: Practice breathing, meditation or mindfulness skills
  • Plan for fun: Make time for enjoyable activities and make it a point to see the humor in life
  • Keep your body healthy: Schedule time for walks or exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, stay hydrated and get enough sleep.

If your relationship with alcohol has caused you or your loved ones to be concerned, talk with your doctor or behavioral health therapist. You can also take advantage of the support and resources provided by your Regence health plan.

  • If you’re a Regence member, check out emotional wellness resources in myStrength®.
    • Use this interactive and activity-based behavioral health app to manage heightened feelings of stress and social isolation through the end of 2020.
  • Find a behavioral health specialist in your Regence provider network:  Find a Doctor or call the Customer Service number on the back of your member ID card.
  • Sign in at and check your benefits for mental health care services and options for substance use disorder treatment or counseling.