Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, and DUI are on the Rise During the Coronavirus Pandemic

A couple in Palatine just fulfilled their dream of opening up a deli and bakery last year when the coronavirus pandemic struck. By taking online orders and using aggressive social media marketing, they have survived the first round of shutdowns. Now they have learned that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker just announced that Tier 3 restrictions will begin again for all Illinois residents starting. Stay at home advisories are now back in effect in suburban Cook County and Chicago.

The couple has managed to barely scrape by, and now they must consider shutting their business down and filing for bankruptcy. As with many Americans, the past year’s difficulties have led them to drink more heavily than they have in years. In addition to DUIs being on the rise, domestic violence and substance abuse, in general, have increased this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Depression, Anxiety, and DUIs on the Rise

Many Americans who have conquered or were dealing well with their substance abuse and alcoholism issues are now struggling with their past demons. Mental health and alcoholism are tied together closely, and the more depressed and anxious people are, the more likely they are to turn to alcohol or other substances to cope. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, at least one-third of all Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression. The coronavirus pandemic has caused Americans significant psychological stress, and the rates of anxiety and depression are continuing to increase. The following factors have led to an increase in depression rates across the country:

  • Grief over the loss of life
  • Trauma from hearing about and coping with a widespread pandemic
  • Fear of getting the coronavirus and becoming severely ill or dying
  • Social isolation caused by physical distancing requirements
  • Financial struggles due to unemployment, reduced work hours, and housing insecurity
  • A loss of a sense of community
  • Reduced access to mental health professionals and caregivers

Massive Mental Health Challenges Lead to Domestic Violence and DUIs

Anytime there is a widespread problem with mental health, people's ability to use self-control can decrease. The more anxious and depressed spouses are, the greater the likelihood that one or both of them will snap and cause the other spouse or their children injuries due to physical violence. Additionally, more people are at home around their potential domestic abusers due to stay-at-home orders. With restaurants and bars having to undergo reduced occupancies, more people are likely to drink at home, where barkeepers and servers will not be able to cut them off if they have had too much. The holidays are coming up, and many people will have large gatherings in their homes, ignoring social distancing requirements. We can expect to see an even greater increase in DUI arrests than we normally see on holiday weekends.

Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer Today

When you have been charged with a DUI or a domestic violence offense, experience matters. Contact the skilled Cook County criminal defense lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.

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