Alcohol warning during Covid-19 pandemic

Research by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) found that one in five (20 per cent) households reported buying more alcohol than usual since the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia.
Research by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) found that one in five (20 per cent) households reported buying more alcohol than usual since the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia.

St George Community Drug Action Team is urging community members to be mindful of their alcohol consumption during the coronavirus pandemic.

And it is important to understand the warning signs that your alcohol consumption may be becoming a problem, St George Community Drug Action Team chairperson, Nicole Scobie said..

National polling by YouGov Galaxy, commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) found that one in five (20 per cent) households reported buying more alcohol than usual since the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia.

Of the households where more alcohol was purchased, 70 per cent reported drinking more alcohol than usual since the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia and 32 per cent reported being concerned with the amount of alcohol either they or someone in their household is drinking.

"These times are challenging however, we urge community members to find alternatives to alcohol to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. Finding other outlets that aren't related to drinking alcohol are better for a healthy body and mind," Ms Scobie said.

"It's really important to be mindful of your drinking behaviour and understand the potential long- and short-term health risks associated with alcohol use," she said.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation have released a checklist of warning signs which fall under the category of 'risky drinking'.

Signs include:

1. Drinking more, or more often: The number and frequency of drinks are creeping up.

2. Interfering with your day-to-day: When routine tasks like basic cooking and working-from-home targets start to slide, or if drinking interferes with things you used to enjoy such as hobbies or quality family time.

3. Isolation triggers: stress, boredom, anxiety and loneliness are all risk factors for increased alcohol use.

4. Trouble sleeping: Trouble getting to sleep or disrupted sleep, mood swings, irritability

5. Relationship troubles: More arguments, more often. Evidence shows that alcohol can also be a trigger for incidents of domestic violence and abuse.

6. Takes more to get the same feeling: It takes more and more drinks to get the same feeling. This may be a sign of alcohol dependence.

If anyone recognises these signs and are concerned about themselves or a family member, call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation's Drug Info line on 1300 85 85 84. It's free and confidential or find out more here.

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