Is Covid-19 leading you to rethink your drinking? Or are you drinking to avoid thinking?
The global pandemic appears to be dividing people into two camps — those steering clear of alcohol or drastically limiting their drinking until it’s all over, and those in search of solace at the bottom of a glass or bottle.
At DACA most of the people we support had already decided to cut back on their drinking long before the coronavirus, self isolation and lockdown disrupted our lives.
They knew alcohol was making their life unmanageable and turned to our team of experts for help.
Now we are all forced to press pause on our daily routines, many are turning to alcohol to help let off steam.
For some, they see it as a reward at the end of the day or week for just getting through, a small celebration amidst the madness. For others, it is an attempt to drown out and erase the fear and panic we are all experiencing right now.
And for some it is simply finding new ways to continue old habits.
Next time you reach for a bottle or can, try to take a moment and ask yourself why. Would you normally be drinking at this time and this much, or is alcohol becoming your Covid-19 escape valve?
If it’s the latter, you’re not alone.
In the run-up to lockdown, shoppers across the UK cleared supermarket shelves of not only pasta and toilet paper, but also beer, wine and spirits with over £1billion spent on booze in the four weeks prior to March 22 — that was £199million up on the same time in 2019. 
So if you stockpiled on the bevvy or are becoming a regular at your corner shop to try and reduce the pressures of Covid-19, here are a few things you need to know.
- Alcohol is a depressant. It might provide an initial feel-good factor but when the beer buzz disappears and the hangover kicks in, the impact on your emotional and mental well-being is increased anxiety, depression and paranoia. Alcohol is also associated with suicide. 
- Alcohol causes accidents. Booze is the single biggest cause of accidents in the home. At a conservative estimate, 400 people die in alcohol-related home accidents in normal years. Under lockdown this number could increase dramatically putting increased strain on our NHS.
- Alcohol can lead to violence. Under normal circumstances alcohol is linked to an increased risk of being a victim of violence or carrying out a violent act. The pressure cooker environments we find ourselves living and working in are not normal and are likely to increase that risk.
- Alcohol increases the risk of injury or death in a house fire. In 15% of accidental house fires, alcohol or drugs were a contributory factor, and these fires had the highest rates of casualties and fatalities. 
- Alcohol contributes to ill-health. In 2015, 41,161 people were admitted to hospital with an alcohol-related condition. In the same year, 3,705 deaths were as a result of alcohol consumption. 
Support Our NHS, Stay Off The Booze
We are all doing our best to try and take the pressure off the NHS at the moment — staying indoors on these beautiful sunny days and avoiding friends and family so we don’t spread the virus.
So the last place we would want to end up is in an ambulance on its way to hospital because we had over-indulged. Not only would we be adding to the pressure on the hard-pressed doctors and nurses, but we would very likely be increasing the chances of catching Covid-19, as hospitals are the riskiest places to be.
Stay Healthy At Home
So is it possible to get through the pandemic without availing yourself of #quarantinis or Zoom happy hours? Of course it is. And many people who are regulars down the pub or enjoy a weekend ‘wine-down’ at home are actually using the current crisis to re-assess their relationship with alcohol.
They’re finding time to try new coping mechanisms such as meditation, art, cycling or gardening and, without the peer pressure of a night out with the lads (or ladies), re-discovering the simple pleasure of a hangover-free weekend.
You can do it — and your body and mind will thank you for it.
So if you think your drinking is starting to get out of control or you want to keep your body as fit and healthy as possible, why not join us and #CoolItForCovid and cutback or even try staying off the booze until the end of lockdown.
Our team of expert counsellors and support workers are available for a chat and some advice on 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or find us on Facebook and send us a message.
You can also find lots of information and tools such as an online self-assessment and a drink tracker/unit calculator to help you cut back on your drinking on the NHS Inform website.