Drinking Alone as a Teen May Foreshadow Future Alcohol Problems

By George Citroner, July 12, 2022

Jeff Leininger, NP, with Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in Menlo Park, California, said that for some people, drinking during the pandemic was another cycle in existing abuse patterns. “The baked-in circuitry regulating dopamine, serotonin, gaba and glutamate transmission was already there, and the pandemic just added fuel to the fire,” he said. “For others, alcohol became a newer, maladaptive coping strategy.” Leininger pointed out that the pandemic closed gyms and restaurants, and travel was restricted, leaving many to find relief in drinking. “When fear and chaos surrounds,” he said. “Avoidance and escape is prized.”

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