Alarm over rising alcohol intake as pandemic blooms

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PEOPLE are taking a tipple more frequently as a result of COVID-19.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation is urging restraint as new national data shows 20 per cent of households report buying more alcohol than usual.

The YouGov Galaxy poll for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education shows that in these households 70 per cent said they were drinking more than usual while 34 per cent said they were now drinking every day.

A third were “concerned” with how much alcohol they were drinking, or someone else in their household was drinking, and 28 per cent said they were drinking alcohol to cope with anxiety and stress. A fifth said they were drinking alcohol earlier in the day.

ADF CEO Dr Erin Lalor said the poll results were concerning. “[We] acknowledge this is an extremely challenging time. What we don’t want to see on top of current challenges is an increase in alcohol-related harms.

“People should be prioritising their health and wellbeing at this time, including taking steps to reduce alcohol-related harms.

“There are no health benefits of alcohol. Drinking alcohol can make feelings of stress and anxiety worse, weaken the immune system and heighten the risk of accidents, injuries and illness.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 21 April 2020

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