Charity offers advice to people tempted to drink more than usual
Drug, alcohol and mental health charity We Are With You (formerly Addaction) is offering advice to people tempted to drink more than usual due to the measures in place to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Simple tips to reduce your drinking:
Drink free days
Having several drink free days will help reduce your alcohol use which should improve your physical and mental health. Public Health England has a Drink Free Days App to help you manage this.
Find a routine
Social distancing can leave you feeling out of sync, but a routine can help provide order and familiarity. Try dividing your day up into sections and plan what you’re going to do at each time. Have slots for work, meals, chores, relaxation, exercise and stick to these as much as possible.
Stay in touch
Not being able to go out or have friends and family to visit can make people feel lonely, so make time to call people and where possible video call so you can see a friendly face.
Reach out for support
There’s no shame in needing a helping hand in these tough times. If you are worried about yourself or a loved one you can speak anonymously to a trained advisor via We Are With You’s online webchat. Just visit www.wearewithyou.org.uk
Laura Bunt, Acting CEO at We Are With You, said:
“These are really difficult times for everyone. Our experience of working with people to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink shows that social isolation is a big factor in why people may drink more heavily. Coupled with the huge anxiety of living through a pandemic, this means we could see a big rise in people drinking more alcohol at home.
“Harmful drinking can impact people’s physical and mental health, so I hope our simple tips to help reduce alcohol consumption are useful for anyone who might be worried they are drinking too much at this time. It’s also really important people know they aren’t alone through this crisis. Our services are still available to help anyone make healthier choices. Look up the treatment service in your local area or you can talk to a trained advisor via our online chat at www.wearewithyou.org.uk.”
Public Health England states that harmful alcohol consumption is defined by someone drinking more than 14 units per week, equivalent to six pints of beer or six glasses of wine. If people exceed these limits they are at increased risk of developing health issues such as liver disease, high blood pressure, cancer and strokes. Increased drinking could also put extra strain on the NHS through alcohol related hospital admissions, while regular alcohol use can lower people’s immune system.