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The Increase in Alcohol Consumption During COVID-19

Coronavirus 1270465
Posted on 11/05/20

The Guardian recently reported that problem drinking is soaring in the UK under lock-down due to feelings of isolation, stress and uncertainty.

According to the article: “Alcohol sales in Britain were 30% higher than usual in March, as people prepared for, and became used to, living under the lock-down, which began on the 23rd of the month. One in five of Britons who drink – about 8.6 million people – have begun drinking more often since then, according to recent research by the charity Alcohol Change UK, which represents alcohol service providers.”

Whilst some alcohol services have had to close because of COVID-19, others are very much open. Since the lockdown began alcohol consumption has surged in the UK. The law around off licenses even had to be reviewed as they were initially classified as non-essential shops. But reports of supermarkets struggling to keep up with alcohol demand meant they were re-opened. Google searches for “wine delivery UK” had increased by 2,250 per cent in the last month while “alcohol delivery” searches have increased by 250 per cent in the same time span.

The Jersey Evening Post published an article this week about how drug seizures at the post office have quadrupled during lock down. The article mentions that the drugs seized are ‘mainly of personal qualities’. Now that drug users can’t get their usual fix, they will be turning to alcohol consumption to get their high.

Managing our drinking is one of the most important things that all of us can do to look after our mental and physical wellbeing – and that’s all the more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Habits are formed quickly but can be hard to break. If people start drinking at risky levels now, not only do they face the risk of immediate harms (such as accidents, fires, arguments and conflict) but also the risk of their alcohol consumption rising over the medium to long term. Alcohol’s effects on mental health are particularly concerning during lockdown, when many of us are already under a great deal of stress.

While some of us will find that cutting down without support is possible, others will need more help. Silkworth Lodge has proven to be a much needed establishment that helps people to come to terms with their addiction and puts them on the road to recovery. We provide a tailor made programme of treatment which helps the client to rebuild these relationships, regain their self esteem and most of all, enables them to integrate back into society on a new footing. Here at Silkworth we are able to aid those within our recovery community affected by social isolation.  We have created a video linked group using Zoom which has been invaluable during the pandemic. All who are in recovery or wanting to join recovery are welcome. 

Sourced: Nightingale Hospital, Alcohol Change, The Independent, Jersey Evening Post

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