BOEMAN — Alcohol is the number one factor when it comes to the drastic rise in substance abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Medical officials say they’ve seen more than twice the amount of substance abuse in Gallatin County and surrounding areas in the last five months, and alcohol is the most used.
“We know statistically that numbers across the country have grown during this time for alcohol. The alcohol sales in Montana have risen 207% since March," said Western Montana Mental Health executive director Michael Foust.
"So, we know alcohol sales across the country are up 55% and over 240% online increase. So, we know alcohol is the drug of choice for most people,” he added.
Substance abuse isn’t limited to just alcohol. In fact, a majority of the time it starts as a progression from something that may seem harmless to help deal with stress.