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COVID-19 and Alcohol and Drug Use

  • Since the onset of COVID-19, there has been a 300% increase in alcohol sales in highly impacted cities such as New York City and Boston.
  • States and local governments are making adjustments to liquor sales in their regions. Some states are stopping the sale of liquor and others are proposing delivery options. Be sure to review local resources to see how the sale of liquor is being impacted in your area.
  • There are reports of students stock piling alcohol and other substances when returning from campuses in case they do not have access to these substances at home.
  • There have been many myths and misinformation related to alcohol and COVID-19. Please refer to the Myth and Fact tab for more information.
  • Being away from campus and school friends can cause you to consider your relationship with alcohol and other substances. If you are considering your relationship to alcohol, take the e-CHECKUP-TO-GO self-test.
    • If you are wanting counseling for your relationship to alcohol and or others drug please contact Alcohol and Other Drugs Counseling: ACTT Program which offers counseling for self-referred and mandated students. At this time, our Licensed Addiction Counselors are bound by licensing laws to provide services, including remote services, in the state in which they are licensed. Therefore, students located outside South Carolina will be assisted with accessing care in their communities.
    • If you are in recovery from substance abuse or are struggling with substance use at this time, consider attending a virtual Clemson and Sober meeting. For more information, please see the Clemson and Sober page and join the group via TigerQuest.
    • For members of our community who are in recovery for substance abuse, isolation and disconnection can be difficult. We encourage people to stay connected with their support systems via technology and to check in on friends.
    • If you are choosing to use alcohol or other substances at this time, it is important to ask yourself what your motivation for this use is. If you are using alcohol to cope with loneliness, fear or anxiety, it is important to consider developing new coping strategies. Look at the mental health and COVID-19 page for more information.
  • Having students home can be a significant change in your usual schedule. This is a great time to have conversations with your college student about their health and well-being.
  • It is important to be able to identify when your student may be misusing alcohol or other drugs or are becoming dependent on substances. The following list consists of warning signs of alcohol and drug misuse:
    • Craving or overwhelming feelings of needing to use alcohol or other drugs
    • Decreasing self-control over use of alcohol or uses substances
    • Developing a tolerance and using alcohol or substances in larger quantities to maintain the same effect
    • Binge drinking (4 or more drinks in one sitting)
    • Consuming alcohol or using substances multiple days a week
  • If you are concerned about your student’s alcohol and drug use at this time, consider talking to them about it. Refer to the How To Talk To Your Student About Alcohol Use Guide from EVERFI.
  • MYTH! Drinking alcohol will kill bacteria in my throat and prevent me from contracting COVID-19.
  • FACT! Vaping and smoking have an impact on your lungs. If you frequently vape or smoke, you may be at higher risk of complications if you contract COVID-19.
  • MYTH! Alcohol can be used as hand sanitizer. Alcohol can be used to make hand sanitizer if it is 60%. Most alcohol that is consumable is 80 proof or 40% alcohol. Thus, it cannot be used to make hand sanitizer.
  • FACT! Drinking alcohol, especially in excess, can suppress your immune system and make you more vulnerable to COVID-19.