BOSTON (WHDH) – Many Massachusetts residents have opted to treat their pain with either alcohol or drugs during the pandemic due to fear of contracting coronavirus, according to a new study.

One in three Bay Staters actively avoided seeing a doctor or dentist during lockdown, while 22 percent said they have tried to treat their anxiety with alcohol or non-prescription drugs since the start of the pandemic, a survey conducted by revealed.

After surveying 3,650 adults over the age of 21, the addiction treatment center learned that one in 10 Bay Staters have used alcohol or non-prescription drugs to treat pain since the pandemic began.

“Drinking, or taking any substance in order to avoid pain is not only a bad idea, but it can potentially make a medical condition even worse,” said Sharon Sabb-Oce, director of nursing at River Oaks Treatment Center. “Continuing to use a substance to numb pain will eventually lead to greater consumption, so not only are you ignoring the initial complaint, but you may have caused another issue to arise.”

One in three adults also admitted that they have not seen a doctor or dentist due coronavirus concerns.

“For those concerned about the risks of an in-person doctor’s clinic, contact your primary care provider or a local clinic and inquire about their telehealth services,” Sabb-Oce added. “Many providers have transitioned to virtual appointments and there may be a more reasonable option to receive care.”

To view statistics on other states, click here.

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