Amarillo’s alcohol use increasing due to stress, recovery services being closed

Amarillo’s alcohol use increasing due to stress, recovery services being closed
Emergency center doctors and recovery services say they have seen an increase of people in need of help from drinking too much during the pandemic. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Loss of jobs, fear of getting sick or loved ones catching the virus are just some stressors many are dealing with during this time.

Exceptional Emergency Center says some are dealing with stress by using alcohol and other substances.

This is an issue they typically see during the holiday season.

“I was a guy that went to treatment and had to go through that and got involved in some things to get back,” said Gene Plemons, peer recovery coach at Dailey Recovery Service.

Gene Plemons was once in the same position as many when it comes to overindulging in alcohol.

This is a problem some say has become far too common during the pandemic.

“Some people deal with stress by using substances, alcohol and other substances. We do see people who have overindulged in both in the emergency room from time to time, it’s fairly common. It does seem like maybe an up tick during the last couple months,” said Dr. Donald Hubbard, medical director of Exceptional Emergency Centers of Amarillo.

“We’re very busy at Dailey Recovery, we’re very busy. Treatment centers are very busy. I mean, there’s a lot of need today,” said Plemons.

Plemons says part of the problem, is many support services have been shut down due to COVID-19.

"We’ve been shut down, and a lot of places in Amarillo are shut down because of the virus going around, and it’s really causing a real bad deal for a lot of people.

People have done without their support groups for this period of time since this pandemic struck in on us," said Plemons.

Dr. Hubbard and Plemons agree, drinking has increased due to the stress and anxiety the virus has brought on.

“When we feel that pain, we’re just trying figure out how to cope with it,” said Plemons.

Doctors and those who have dealt with the vice of alcohol say there is hope to recover.

“A lot of people have these problems. There’s not a taboo associated with it, it’s not a personality disorder. You can seek treatment for it, and if you want to, you can get past these issues,” said Dr. Hubbard.

Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dailey Recovery Service is continuing to help others through virtual mediums.

To get help from Dailey Recovery, you can email them at or call them at (806) 639-3501.

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