GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Liquor sales in North Carolina are reaching records, surpassing $200 million in December 2022 alone for the first time ever, even in the midst of rising inflation.
“It’s not surprising. It’s legal, It’s everywhere-everywhere you go,” Natasha Jackson, Hakuna Wellness Therapist says.
Jackson believes the global pandemic is the reason for the increase.
“We had individuals that were going to groups, going to AA meetings, going to church but when everything shut down; they isolated themselves and got bored alone– those are triggers. So they went back to what they knew to cope with those triggers and that’s alcohol.”
While higher sales may help businesses, people in the East fear it may be a sign that many are struggling with addiction.
“If you keep drinking alcohol and have fun with it, you’re going to start wanting it because you know what makes you feel good so you’ll always go get it,” says Greenville resident, Bobby Gorham.
Jackson encourages everyone to be mindful and understanding of those struggling.
“Giving them support, loving on them, and encouraging them. Reintroducing them back into counseling, just providing them with resources.”
According to the NC ABC Commission, total liquor sales increased by 10.8% this January compared to January 2022.
North Carolina is one of 17 states to regulate alcohol through a control system. Since 1937, the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has provided regulation and control over the sale, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages in N.C.