Alcohol consumption surged during the pandemic and deaths followed

Closeup shot of many people clinking glasses with alcohol at a toast

U.S. consumption of alcohol, which had already been increasing for years, accelerated during the pandemic as Americans grappled with stress and isolation.

Rhode Island stand-up comedians Kirsten Logan and Frank Gazerro already drank plenty. The husband and wife were literally paid in drinks at nightclubs. Then came the pandemic.

Logan, 35, drank over the stress of continuing to report to work as an emergency veterinarian technician, even as the coronavirus spread. Stuck at home, Gazerro, 40, guzzled copious amounts of bourbon, or sometimes cheap grain alcohol, every day — until he was rushed to the emergency room with an inflamed liver in the fall of 2021.

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