HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — According to the Centers for Disease Control, more people are drinking alcohol.
Developing evidence shows an increase of alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, and two local liquor stores are still seeing that spike in sales.
“When the pandemic first hit, there was an increase for a moment,” Liquor 101 owner Magdiel Lerma told ValleyCentral. “People didn’t go to the bars, they had to drink at home, on Thanksgiving, there was a 20% increase from last year, which was huge, whereas it’s usually only 5%.”
Financial difficulties, social isolation and uncertainty about the future fueling the boost of sales, including at Bottle Shop Liquor store in La Feria.
“Yes, it has increased a little bit due to the people having to stay at home and whatnot,” Rudy Cisneros, Bottle Shop Liquor Store owner said.
Holidays and lifting of social distance requirements also resulting in more people buying alcohol.
“Well I just kind of like to relax and it’s the weekend,” customer Maria Garza said.
Online alcohol sales also increasing by 262% at the start of the pandemic compared to sales data from the same week in 2019.
The new technology also making it easier to drink responsibly.
“There’s apps now and we’ll take it to you. Definitely do not drink and drive for sure,” Lerma said.
The CDC also released new data showing an increase in alcohol-induced deaths since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
In the study it also shows alcohol induced pancreatic also increased 50% from 2019 to 2020.