Various reports state staying at home due to the pandemic has to lead to an increase in high-risk alcohol consumption among adults in the U.K.
A study by the Public Health Research found that people aged 35 - 54 had increased their alcohol intake during the pandemic. There was an increase in the proportion of high-risk drinkers between February with 4.8M to 8.4M in June 2020. Nearly a third of people (29%) reported that they had drunk more alcohol than they normally would, according to a major new study by the Policy Institute at King’s College London in partnership with Ipsos MORI. The study also showed that 43% of people in the UK have felt more lonely than usual and 35% postponed seeking medical advice or treatment unrelated to Covid-19. Almost half (48%) of British respondents to the Global Drug Survey (GDS) disclosed they were drinking more alcohol than before the coronavirus outbreak.
In comparison, 44% of cannabis users reported increased use of the drug. The study also found that social drinking moved online during the pandemic. The number of people drinking alone at home while on audio or video calls, such as Zoom meetings, or during “watch parties”, where friends view and discuss films and TV programmes together via group chat, increased from 17% to 38%.
People with alcohol use disorder are more likely to develop complications if they catch Covid-19. So, UK guidelines advise people to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spreading consumption over three days or more. The UK Government is also releasing funds to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse by introducing alcohol care teams in hospitals where alcohol-related admissions are high.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.