Almost exactly two years ago, many Nevadans across the state hunkered down, unaware that a global pandemic would render them largely homebound for such a long period. Like so many other Americans, they were affected by multiple levels of anxiety. Would they and their family get sick? Would someone they love die? What kind of financial hardships would be caused by the lockdown? Would there be enough money for rent and groceries? What would the future look like in a post-pandemic world? As is the case in more normal times, when people feel stressed or depressed, they reach for the bottle for what they perceive to be a short-term solution.
As the pandemic and lockdown continued two things happened: people began to consume more alcohol and they spent more time on social media – their primary channel with the outside world. In 2020, while Nevada passed no statewide measure, individual cities such as Reno and Las Vegas introduced a crowd-pleasing salve, the temporary legalization of to-go alcoholic drinks from bars and restaurants. As the months progressed, the term “Quarantini” entered our mainstream lexicon, becoming a catch-all term for any cocktail made during the lockdown, and soon social media was flooded with alcohol-related content.
The American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory commissioned a study in which the 100 largest towns and cities in each state were ranked for their number of alcohol-related Instagram posts throughout the pandemic. The researchers analyzed Instagram posts starting from March 2020 to identify how many were related to alcohol or being drunk. The results reveal which cities posted about it the most, which could indicate a problematic relationship with alcohol.
Alamo came in first for the Silver State, with a population of 1,142, they proved to have the most intoxicated Instagrammers in Nevada. They racked up 398 alcohol-related posts per 5,000 during the pandemic or 7.96% of all their posts during the period. This is not too big a surprise as Lincoln County rates 4th among the highest number of excessive drinkers in the state according to County Health Rankings, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Fallon ranked 25th of Nevada communities, with 294 Instagram posts related to alcohol or being drunk. This represents 5.88% of posts for residents of the City of Fallon. Churchill County is listed in 11th place among the 17 Nevada counties by the Institute with 22% of the population considered excessive drinkers.
The least intoxicated city during the lockdown was Dyer with a population of 305. The Esmeralda town racked up 12 alcohol-related posts equaling 0.24%, while the county came in 15th.
More information on the Intoxicated Instagrammer’s Study can be found at Intoxicated Instagrammers - Rehabs.com.
If you are concerned about excessive alcohol consumption, whether for yourself or someone you know, there are some signs to be aware of that may be indicative of a problematic relationship with alcohol. If a person has difficulty controlling their level of alcohol consumption, if they want to decrease or stop drinking alcohol but are unable to do so they may need assistance. If it takes more and more alcohol to reach the desired effects due to a higher tolerance level, there may be a problem. If someone is experiencing alcohol cravings when not drinking as well as withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and nausea, or if they are facing personal problems at home, work, or school due to alcohol use it is time to seek assistance.
Support is available at many levels. Locally the New Frontier Treatment Center at 1490 Grimes St., (775) 423-1412 or www.newfrontiernv.us offers help for all ages. For more information on addiction programs, information is available at https://Rehabs.com.
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