Marketing alcohol to children and those who have a history of addiction is not a new phenomenon. But a Milwaukee company, Drink Wisconsibly, has now made it into a joke, as well as a bar, novelty store and brand that includes its very own beverage company. You can also order a Brandy infused slushy from their location across the street from the taxpayer funded Fiserv Forum and home of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The RAND Corporation and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have released a new report showing a dramatic increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as an increase in the frequency and amount of alcohol consumed.
In an amazingly stunning move, the Tavern League of Wisconsin sued the State of Wisconsin over recently imposed rules regarding seating capacity at restaurants and bars, as well as other types of businesses. While they were initially successful and bought some bars that were not in compliance a few days' reprieve, their lawsuit has (as of now) been overruled.
September is National Recovery Month as well as National Suicide Prevention Month. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Resources are available at: https://www.recoverymonth.gov/ - https://www.nami.org/get-involved/awareness-events/suicide-prevention-awareness-month If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
Many people saw in horror the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading over the country in multiple waves reaching grim milestones of tens of thousands of deaths. Wisconsin continues to have one of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in the country, with over 1,000 infections counted for several days in a row. There is plenty of blame to go around, from disinformation and propaganda from the White House, to conspiracies and myths spread on Facebook. These stories have resulted in the public not wearing masks and not social distancing. Nowhere is this more apparent and flouted than at the nation's bars and restaurants. The toll on those who work in food and beverage services has been immense. This situation has been terrible not only for those who work in restaurants and bars, but of course also for musicians and entertainers. It is possible that up to one half of all craft breweries will close. Many of Madison's bars have had to close temporarily, and at least one, the HopCat, has closed permanently. Madison has passed an emergency order to keep many bars and restaurants in business by allowing outdoor seating. Recently, the UW Madison had to shut down most in person instruction for two weeks and place two dorms on quarantine. It is not clear if this was related to students going to bars, but it appears that this has been a factor. Madison's outdoor eating and drinking plan dubbed the "Streatery" program will continue past October into April of 2021. Alcohol use appears to have increased due to COVID, initially due to online and take out sales. Studies are also showing that drinking is being used to cope with the isolation of not seeing people and the anxiety that people naturally have about the future. It is too late to go back to February and March and instituted a nationwide lockdown like what should have happened. It is not, however, too late to plan to vote this fall and support candidates who understand public health and support science, and who will be able to sufficiently address the health, economic and faith in government crisis that we are going through. Maybe after that, we can focus more on mental health and substance abuse.
Bars and COVID: www.nytimes.com/2020/08/12/health/Covid-restaurants-bars.html
Drinking rates increasing due to COVID:
With approximately 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 including 434 deaths in Wisconsin and nearly 2,000 hospitalizations, the Tavern League of Wisconsin has taken a very bold anti-science approach by demanding that the state's bars are restaurants open immediately without a comprehensive plan. Fortunately, some municipalities like Madison and Milwaukee are enforcing their own safer-at-home policies. With an increase in infections and deaths continuing every day, and the likely continuation of infections into 2021 and beyond, this irresponsible reaction from the state's largest liquor lobby has infuriated many.
I am thinking of everyone who is facing challenging times right now due to COVID-19 and for any other reason. I hope you find these links and information helpful.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
CDC - Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/selfcare.asp
SAMHSA Behavioral Health Disaster Response Mobile App - https://store.samhsa.gov/product/SAMHSA-Behavioral-Health-Disaster-Response-Mobile-App/PEP13-DKAPP-1?fbclid=IwAR22vBOu9mFIuDfZ3DLuO28eBrP2gavKXvNVwQW6bNSFrYAICrnQpe8YkYM#:~:text=
The Implementation Science & Engineering Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is currently recruiting participants for its Alcohol and Wellness: Testing the Integration of Smartphone Technology into Primary Care research study. The program provides a $250 participation stipend, in addition a $10 gift card just to complete the screening questionnaire. If you or someone you know might be interested and meet these eligibility criteria, please visit the link below.
Prohibition (1920-1933) went into effect a hundred years ago. It was a failure of a policy, giving rise to organized crime and creating an underground, unregulated market. Since the repeal of the 18th amendment, however, alcohol continues be a social problem. It is the third most preventable cause of death after smoking and diet/exercise. We need more access to alternative forms of treatment and mental health. Abstinence works, but doesn't work for everyone. We need more regulation of the alcohol industry including sales and use taxes. Children and adolescents should not be able to view advertising. I know I sound preachy but this is very personal to me and I hope to see some changes with our drinking culture in the future.
A recent report by the Research Society on Alcoholism has found that number of deaths per year has doubled over the past two decades,
About this blog
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a background in addiction counseling living in Madison, Wisconsin. I created this blog to raise awareness about drinking culture, alcohol outlet density, alcohol policy, alcohol dependence and risks.