Why are liquor stores are considered "essential business" in Texas?

Posted at 7:50 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 20:50:27-04

Recently, Gov. Greg Abbott released a list of businesses that are going to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many wondering why liquor stores are considered “essential business.”

Spanky’s Liquor Store has been selling liquor and beer in the Coastal Bend for 35 years, and they’ll continue to do so through the coronavirus pandemic.

Spanky’s Director of Human Resources Rebecca Drury said some health experts say the lack of access to liquor could lead people to experience withdrawals and according to the New Zealand Drug Foundation, people can die from withdrawals.

“There are people who need alcohol for addiction and they need access to that or they would be in hospitals going through withdrawals and other symptoms,” said Drury. “Detoxing is painful and it can have really horrible side effects.”

People going through withdrawals might seek medical attention, which would lead to an influx of people at hospitals taking up the limited space that right now could be used to treat patients with coronavirus.

“To ease the pain and get a prescription, and that requires doctors and puts more people in harm's way,” Drury said.

Besides those who are chemically dependent on alcohol, there are those who use it to de-stress.

“It’s a therapeutic option for people,” Drury said. “They’re at home or they’re with their kids, maybe experiencing stress and anxiety. It’s a difficult time and it is a coping mechanism for a lot of people.”

Drury added that as people try to follow the social distancing guidelines right now, the company is moving toward offering their liquor sales online as well.

Spanky’s also said ordering hand sanitizers for its stores to offer customers the much sought-after item.