Gray area drinking is a term that describes the realm between a healthy level of alcohol consumption and a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder (the clinical term for alcoholism).
While gray area drinking is not an official diagnosis, the term accurately expresses a growing problem with immoderate drinking since coronavirus and its aftermath brought sweeping changes across the world.
The extra stressors triggered by the pandemic over the past two years have led to sharp increase in alcoholism in the United States. 2019 data from SAMHSA’s annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that 14.5 million people in the U.S. had alcohol use disorder. The most current data from NSDUH 2020 showed that more than 28 million people are now grappling with alcohol use disorder.