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'Biggest relapse trigger of the century': Quarantine sparks sobriety concerns

Data shows alcohol sales have spiked by 55% and alcohol.org says 22% of Texans have admitted to drinking while working from home.

SAN ANTONIO — Take a drive down any business district and it's easy to see the loss of stability in our city and, in turn, the loss of strength when it comes to some peoples' sobriety.

"So some experts are calling it the biggest relapse trigger of the century," T.J. Mayes said. "You have people facing economic uncertainty, isolation, boredom, depression—it's kind of a powder keg."

Mayes is the healthcare chair for the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and says the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prompts a concerning situation not only for those recovering from addiction, but those who are on the verge. 

Nielsen data shows alcohol sales have spiked by 55% and alcohol.org says 22% of Texans have admitted to drinking while working from home.

"There's a harm-reduction message that we're trying to get out, which is maybe don't drink at noon," Mayes said. "We don't want people to develop problematic behavior where it didn't already exist."

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For those who are recovering, know you're not alone. While in-person AA meetings are canceled for now, virtual meetings are trying to fill that void.

"It's hard to replace interpersonal interaction but we're doing the best we can," Mayes added. 

At a time of social distance, the public can know there is social solidarity right at your fingertips.

A  list of virtual AA meetings is available here: