FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KRON) — A new study released Tuesday found that one Bay Area city has more “intoxicated Instagrammers” than anywhere else in the state.
Addiction and rehabilitation researchers analyzed thousands of Californians’ public Instagram posts to see which cities had residents with the highest percentage of alcohol-related posts within the past two years.
Researchers found two things happened when anxieties from the COVID-19 pandemic set in: people began to consume more alcohol, and they spent more time on social media — their primary channel with the outside world.
Social media was flooded with alcohol-related content.
Rehabs.com, a national rehab directory, commissioned a study in which the 100 largest cities in California were ranked.
The researchers analyzed Instagram posts starting from March 2020 to identify how many were related to consuming alcohol or being drunk.
The study ranked Fairfield in Solano County in the #1 spot for having the most “intoxicated Instagrammers.”
Nearly nine percent of all Instagram posts created by Fairfield residents had boozy themes, according to the study. Oceanside ranked #2, and Vacaville ranked #3.
In 52nd place came San Francisco, where 4.18 percent of all posts were alcohol-related.
West Covina in Los Angeles County had the lowest percentage of Instagram posts about drinking.
Researchers noted that when people feel stressed or anxious, some reach for the bottle as a short-term “solution.”
Addiction experts said using alcohol as a short-term “solution” for easing stress and anxiety puts a person at-risk of developing an even bigger problem: severe alcohol use disorder, also referred to as “alcoholism.”
“It’s easy to slip up with alcohol. It’s one of those things that’s legal,” said Phillip Van Guilder, a community affairs director with Greenhouse Treatment Center.
He said heavy drinkers in denial will compared themselves to drug addicts and think, “I’m not like them. If I were like them, maybe I’d get help.”
Alcohol Awareness Month is observed in the month of April.
Rehabs.com listed warning signs to be aware of that are indicative of someone developing a problematic relationship with alcohol and addiction:
• 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.