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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Drinking more alcohol nowadays? Meet the 'Sober Mom Squad'

Many people are reaching for the wine bottle during this stressful year, but help is available.

SAN DIEGO — Recent studies show alcohol sales and consumption are up during this pandemic, especially amongst women, including moms.

A group of social media influencers is trying to change that by offering help virtually. It’s called the Sober Mom Squad. Emily Lynn Paulson is the founder.

The mom of five is also a former alcoholic turned recovery coach.

"It was getting in trouble with the law, getting a DUI," said Paulson. "Finally those consequences started catching up to me."

Pre-pandemic, Paulson had a large social media following. She often posted about her sobriety and topics related to moms, but as coronavirus got worse, she noticed her clients and followers needed more help.

"Their kids were home more, so they were being watched more and their stress went up and their drinking went up too and all of a sudden it was raising red flags," said Paulson. "Like I want to get ahead of this before it becomes a problem."

In March, Paulson launched a free weekly virtual support meeting.

About 600 women signed up for the first one.

"It's not so much stop drinking," said Paulson. "It's what can we add, what other coping mechanisms can we use."

Sober Mom Squad has since grown to include additional online meet ups, expert webinars and a membership program.

"Anything you bring to us, we talk about," said Paulson. "We share and we give each other advice."

Paulson has also enlisted the help of other mom influencers like Jen Elizabeth of San Diego.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, American adults are drinking 14% more often during the COVID-19 pandemic. For women, it's 17%.

Paulson, who used to joke about drinking, said those statistics aren't a laughing matter. She noted there are other ways to deal with the stress of it all.

“You know, yoga, meditation, gratitude journaling - it's really how great your life can be without alcohol, rather than you must be sober," said Paulson.

You can learn more about the Sober Mom Squad here.