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Port Orange ranked 12th in Florida for booze-related social media posts throughout the pandemic.

Wed, May 18, 2022 at 3:30PM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News 

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During the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, roughly two years ago, Floridians in towns and cities across the state locked down, unaware that a global pandemic would leave them homebound for such a long period of time. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and the uncertainty of what the future would hold, Floridians, like other Americans, began experiencing symptoms of anxiety and began reaching for the bottle as a way to cope with what was perceived to be a short-term solution.

As the pandemic progressed, residents began to consume more alcohol and spent more time on social media, their primary channel for interacting with the outside world.

In 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced a temporary legalization of to-go alcoholic drinks from bars and restaurants and later signed it into law on May 13, 2021. Months passed, and the term ‘Quarantini’ became the new term for any cocktail made during the lockdown, and social media became flooded with alcohol-related content. The favorited ‘Quarantini’ of residents in the Sunshine State was the Pina Colada, based on a study conducted by a travel rewards company known as Upgraded Points.

In response to the study conducted by upgraded Points, Rehab.com – a national rehab directory, conducted its own research into the 100 largest towns and cities in the Sunshine State and their rank for their number of alcohol-related Instagram posts over the course of the pandemic. After analyzing 5,000 Instagram posts starting from March 2020 (the unofficial start of lockdowns for most states), researchers found which town/cities posted about alcohol or being drunk the most, possibly indicating residents have a problematic relationship with alcohol.

According to the Rehab.com study, Bradenton (population of 57,346) came in the number one spot with 419 alcohol-related Instagram posts (per 5,000 posts) during the pandemic, representing 8.38% of all Instagram posts in that city during that period. With these numbers, Bradenton is placed in the top 10th percentile of the whole country and is higher than the average excessive drinking rate in Florida of 20 percent.

In 12th place came Port Orange (population 63,815), with 377 Instagram posts related to alcohol or being drunk, representing 7.54% of all posts. 

Coming mid-table was Boynton Beach, with 219 alcohol/drink-related posts representing 4.38% of all posts, during that time. In last place was the city of Port St. Lucie (population of 195,773) had only 22 alcohol/drink-related posts equaling a minimal figure of just 0.44 percent. 

“Alcoholism” is clinically ambiguous and out of use, but here are a few signs that are indicative of a problematic relationship with alcohol:

• Difficulty controlling one’s level of alcohol consumption.

• Wanting to decrease or stop drinking alcohol and being unable to do so.

• Developing a higher tolerance for alcohol and needing more overtime to reach the desired effects.

• Experiencing alcohol cravings when not drinking and experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and nausea.

• Facing personal problems at home, work, or school due to alcohol use.


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