Covid crisis is exacerbating LGBTQ alcohol abuse, studies find

Social-distancing measures and lockdowns have disproportionately increased alcohol use in the LGBTQ community, studies find.

Abigail Mazzarella, 26, often went to gay bars in Baltimore before Covid-19 stay-at-home measures were introduced.

“I don’t live anywhere near my family, so I did depend on that community and friendships to get by and have a type of family here,” she said.

When bars in the state closed, this physical community disappeared as Mazzarella needed its support the most. But the liquor store across her street remained open. Around the same time Covid-19 infection rates were increasing early last March, Mazzarella’s mother unexpectedly died, and exactly one week later she lost her job because of the impact of pandemic restrictions.

“I started drinking pretty much immediately after all that happened, and didn’t really stop for months,” she told NBC News. “I wasn’t drinking socially; I was just doing it by myself in my house and spending a ridiculous amount of money on it for no reason other than just to get drunk, go to sleep and do it again the next day. I wasn’t functioning for a good half of 2020.”

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