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Think before you drink

GEHA | April 30, 2020

Alcohol awareness
Pay attention to how much alcohol you consume.

Paying attention to alcohol consumption is particularly important right now.

With many cities and nations living under “shelter-in-place” or lockdown mandates, feelings of anxiety, depression or even sheer boredom increase – along with the desire to turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Enjoying a beer or a glass of wine with dinner now and then won’t likely cause additional issues, but higher levels of consumption may lead to bigger issues. Self-medicating with alcohol can appear as a quick-fix solution that may help ease stress and loneliness in the short term, but might lead to further instability or medical issues.

Abusing alcohol can affect your general health. Alcohol use, especially heavy use, weakens the immune system and can reduce your ability to cope with infectious diseases. It can also disrupt sleeping patterns. All of this can make you more susceptible to developing COVID-19.

Get help from home

If you’re struggling with alcohol dependency, talk with your primary care physician. If you’re unable to speak to your regular physician at this time, remember GEHA medical plan members can access a secure, confidential consultation with a board-certified physician or behavioral therapist through MDLIVE. 

You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s National Hotline at 1.800.662.HELP (4357).

“Resist Using Pot, Alcohol to Ease Fears During COVID-19 Outbreak,"Healthline 24 March 2020
“Covid-19 Poses Unique Challenges for Alcohol Drinkers,” An American Addiction Centers Resource, 10 April 2020

This is a brief description of the features of the Elevate, HDHP, Standard Option, Elevate Plus, High Option plan. Before making a final decision, please read the plan’s Federal brochure RI 71-018, RI 71-014, RI 71-006, available at All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations, and exclusions set forth in the Federal brochure.