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Medical Minute: Increased Alcohol and Drug Use During Pandemic

Doctor Michael Shea, chief medical director and critical care physician at Maui Health shares critical resources for community members whose mental health has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has had a profound effect on all of us. Stress levels have skyrocketed with isolation from loved ones, loss of income and uncertainty. This has led to increased drug and alcohol use for so many that experts are calling it a pandemic within a pandemic,” said Dr. Shea.

Dr. Shea assures the public that it is never too late to get help and that recovery programs and support groups are now held virtually – making it easier and more discreet to attend.

“Remember, you’re not alone. Take steps to find help today.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline is 1-800-662-4357. For more information and additional resources, visit