Many people have experienced challenging hurdles in 2020, mainly due to the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the unending epidemic, the US election set to take place in November has lots of anticipations.
The country is presently strongly divided on various issues, and the coronavirus crisis still poses lots of unresolved problems. Therefore, such challenges force Americans to find alternative and risky ways to avoid the upcoming election’s pressure, with substance abuse being a leading influence.
How the Presidential Election is Influencing Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Everyone knows the significance of elections in any country. But the link between US presidential elections and alcohol or substance abuse is a significant concern.
The mental health impact caused by the COVID-19 crisis already caused a significant increase in alcohol and substance abuse. The worst-scenario that will add even more problems to substance abuse is the upcoming elections.
Generally, the skirmish associated with aspiring political leaders and fans is a significant source of tension, anxiety, stress, among other mental issues. According to a poll conducted after the 2016 presidential election, results showed that 57 percent of Americans mentioned that their political environment was a slightly significant stress source.
Moreover, the survey indicated that 72 percent of Democrats stated the 2016 presidential election results contributed as the primary source of stress, which 26 percent of Republicans agreed. While responding to the high-stressors developed in the 2016 election, people invented the term election stress disorder. Though this term isn’t an official medical disorder, the upcoming November elections excitement causes its comeback.
How Stress Causes Substance Use Disorder
Unfortunately, substance use disorders may arise from stress created during high expectations associated with elections. Several studies indicate that exposure to high-stressors is more likely to cause alcohol and drug abuse. Additionally, relapsing possibilities exist for those who have already finished medical detox programs and have attained sobriety.
However, people intending to avoid the 2020 election stress end up into drugs or alcohol as a misconceived solution. Even worse, temptations for substance abuse and alcohol increase even further for voters whose elected candidate has lost.
In some cases, people have a habit of indulging in alcohol during election seasons. Moreover, the internet is full of election nights and drinking games for debates. While such games’ primary purpose is to have fun, they may cause severe destructive consequences that many people never realize.
How to Manage Election Season & Substance Abuse
As the upcoming election hype intensifies each day, the temptation to turn into alcohol misuse to relieve stress is a misconceived solution. While it is crucial to receive updated news, practicing self-care, limiting media access, disengaging from social media, and staying away from alcohol and substances may help avoid stressful circumstances that may trigger substance abuse.
Additionally, those recovering from drug addiction or have completed recovery should be extra careful. The reason is that elections and substance abuse have a strong triggering bond. Therefore, they should be mindful and cautious to avoid relapsing during this season.
Besides, if you struggle with alcohol or substance abuse problems, there is always help available. Ensure to visit a rehab facility near you to find professional help that addresses your stress that causes substance use disorder and find lifelong sobriety.