Alcohol products have experienced a spike in sales during lockdown, rising by over a third (36%) according to data compiled by Just Eat and City Pantry.
All regions across Britain experienced this spike in alcohol sales, with the highest percentage increase seen by Northern Ireland with 9.3%, then East England with 7.7%, East Midlands with 6.4%, Scotland with 4%, North West with 3.8% and West Midlands with 3.5%.
Perhaps this sudden increase is accredited to the more casual, unmonitored working conditions at home or the inability to visit restaurants or pubs during quarantine. Regardless, the growing popularity of day-drinking and drinking alone has been a cause for concern for many health specialists and alcohol misuse rehabilitation programs, especially during a time of worry and stress.
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) emphasised the importance of addressing this issue in a recent article, highlighting that alcohol sales increase by 67% right before the lockdown as thousands prepared to entertain themselves through mundane times via drink.
The BMJ predicted that the already increasing number of alcohol-related liver disease patients will escalate as a direct result of the pandemic.
Alcohol Change UK, a charity aiming to reduce alcohol induced violence, has released several articles advising those developing an addiction with techniques on how to drink responsibly during such unprecedented times, where people’s mental health has been greatly affected.
However, it is not only the mental and physical health of the consumer that is affected by irresponsible drinking; there is an undeniable relationship between domestic abuse and alcohol, with up to 50% of abusers having consumed alcohol before or during their attack.
The 2016 Home Office review also revealed that almost half of all domestic homicides had been influenced by alcohol.
Nacoa, the national helpline for children living with parents who are heavy drinkers, have experienced a 38% increase in calls – 260 extra requests per month – with the majority of callers being young adults who are were exposed to their parent’s daily habits having had to stay at home (instead of school or university).
Not only will we have to address the declining economy but the mental and physical health of those whose lives have been irreparably damaged, both directly and indirectly, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
If you or anyone you know experiences any issues related to alcoholism, get in touch with your GP or the following help-lines:
- Drinkline national alcohol helpline – 0300 123 1110
- Alcoholics Anonymous – 0800 9177 650
- Al-anon family group – 02074030888
Photo Credit: Wil Stewart