19 Hudson Valley Towns Posted A Lot About Pandemic Drinking

HUDSON VALLEY — When the pandemic kept the Hudson Valley at home, many of us turned to two things to pass the time: alcohol and social media. Some did so more than others, according to a new report from rehabs.com, especially in New Rochelle, Poughkeepsie and Peekskill.

A National Rehab Directory-commissioned study ranked New York's 100 largest cities and towns by the number of alcohol-related Instagram posts since March 2020. The survey covered a time period when the Empire State and much of the world slowly began to get used to COVID-19 protocols.

In one study, New Yorkers' favorite homemade cocktail during the pandemic was found to be a Vodka Fizz.

Tops in the Hudson Valley, New Rochelle earned the 9th place in New York. The city on the Sound had 365 alcohol-related posts per every 5000 posts since March 2020. This represents 7.3 percent of all posts of its 77,762 residents.

Poughkeepsie claimed 12th place in New York. Residents of the Hudson River town posted 355 alcohol-related posts for every 5000 posts, representing 7.1 percent of all posts from its 30,746 residents.

Peekskill edged into the top 25 drinking towns in New York with a 25th place ranking. Peekskill drinkers posted 289 alcohol-related Instagram posts per every 5000 posts.

The rankings for all Hudson Valley towns on the statewide list are as follows:

  • #9 New Rochelle

  • #12 Poughkeepsie

  • #25 Peekskill

  • #33 Kingston

  • #34 Harrison

  • #39 Mount Vernon

  • #42 Port Chester

  • #50 White Plains

  • #53 Scarsdale

  • #55 Kiryas Joel

  • #62 Newburgh

  • #68 Ossining

  • #74 Yonkers

  • #77 Middletown

  • #78 New City

  • #81 Eastchester

  • #82 Spring Valley

  • #86 Mamaroneck

  • #91 Monsey

However, there was also a serious side to increased pandemic alcohol consumption.

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all but essential businesses to close in March 2020, he listed liquor stores among the essential businesses and kept them open. There was a very serious public health reason why during a time in which hospitals exceeding capacity was a very real concern.

"If someone is dependent on alcohol and they can't get alcohol, then they can go into withdrawal," according to Paul Nestadt, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Alcohol is one of the few substances that when you're withdrawing you can actually die. You can't die from heroin withdrawal or cocaine withdrawal."

Alcohol sales and consumption increased 21 percent in the U.S. at the start of the pandemic, according to a study published last year in the medical journal Hepatology. In the short term, researchers expect that changes to drinking habits caused by COVID-19 will cause 100 additional deaths and 2,800 additional cases of liver failure by next year.

A sustained increase in consumption for more than one year could result in 19-35 percent increased mortality, according to the Hepatology report.

Rehabs.com suggested some helpful signs to be aware of that that are indicative of a problematic relationship with alcohol, noting that the term "alcoholism" can be clinically ambiguous and outdated.

  • Difficulty controlling one’s level of alcohol consumption.

  • Wanting to decrease or stop drinking alcohol but being unable to do so.

  • Developing a higher tolerance for alcohol and needing more over time to reach the desired effects.

  • Experiencing alcohol cravings when not drinking as well as withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking and nausea.

  • Facing personal problems at home, work, or school due to alcohol use.

Where did other New York cities and towns rank in terms of "intoxicated Instagrammers?" See the full rankings here from rehabs.com.

This article originally appeared on the New Rochelle Patch