Green Bay, Wis – April is Alcohol Awareness Month and this year it may be needed more than ever. The Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay is experiencing a dramatic increase in calls and referrals for its treatment programs and Recovery Homes.

“It’s been well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased depression, anxiety and substance use,” said Tina Baeten, Clinical Supervisor of the Jackie Nitschke Center. “In fact, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported that 13% of Americans started or increased substance use as a way of coping with the stress of the pandemic.”

“The past year has created challenges for just about everyone in our community,” Larry Connors, CEO said. “Addiction is often a disease of isolation and the pandemic, with the need to social distance and other changes, put many people at risk, including those in recovery. It’s not surprising that as we come out of the pandemic, we’re seeing an increase in calls and referrals.”

Baeten shared some concerning statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Human Services:

  • Wisconsin ranks second in the U.S. for adult binge drinking
  • Wisconsin residents in every age group engaged in more binge drinking than the U.S. median for that age group.
  • Wisconsinites ages 18 to 24 had the highest proportion of binge drinkers.

Additionally, a recent national report notes that heavy drinking among women increased 41% over the past year.

“All of this information points to a reason to be concerned,” added Connors. “The key is to reach out for help now rather than let the problem continue. We are committed to providing hope, healing and recovery to those facing the struggles of addiction.”

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