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Drinking Alcohol Is 'An Unhelpful Coping Strategy' During Coronavirus Self-Isolation, Says WHO

Stewart Perrie


Drinking Alcohol Is 'An Unhelpful Coping Strategy' During Coronavirus Self-Isolation, Says WHO

With millions of people ordered into lockdown, it can be pretty enticing to drink some alcohol.

When you don't have to get up early to go to the gym, take public transport to work or put on clothes appropriate for the office, it's even more inviting to end the day with a beer.

But the World Health Organization is warning people against picking up the bottle during this coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Dr Aiysha Malik, a technical officer at WHO Europe's mental health and substance abuse department, said using alcohol as a coping mechanism during self-isolation isn't a helpful strategy.

Dr Malik says turning to booze 'can make things worse' and can exacerbate problems already there or create addictions that could have been avoided.

Health experts are now warning governments and bottle shops to be aware of this situation.

Alcohol Change UK's chief executive Dr Richard Piper told The Independent: "While keeping off licences open is consistent with clinical advice to protect those who are physically dependent on alcohol from going into dangerous withdrawal, they wouldn't want to unintentionally send the message that alcohol is 'essential' to all our lives.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"It's important that the government, alcohol producers and retailers keep reminding us that it's best to stick to 14 units a week or less."

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, there has been a marked increase in the number of sales at bottle shops across Australia.

Commonwealth Bank says alcohol sales have spiked 20 per cent in the week to March 20, compared to the same week last year.

There could be a load of reasons why that has happened, however the timing with people spending more time inside their homes with seemingly not much to do has to be recognised.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Caterina Giorgi, chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, told the SMH: "Once people start using alcohol to cope with anxiety, that's a slippery slope.

"If you're sitting around and drinking alcohol all day then you're not being as healthy as you can be. It might not seem a lot but it adds up over time for chronic disease, and it weakens your immunity to be able to fight COVID-19 if you do get it."

There are fears that once restrictions are lifted, people will be trapped in this new cycle of drinking.

So health authorities are warning people to be mindful of how much they're drinking during this pandemic and look out for your housemates, partners and anyone else you're living with.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Coronavirus

Stewart Perrie
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