The World Health Organization has warned people to avoid turning to alcohol consumption as a stress or boredom coping strategy during the home lock-down caused by the coronavirus pandemic, saying the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.
According to Dr. Aiysha Malik, a technical officer at WHO Europe’s mental health and substance abuse department, people that many turn to alcohol in times of crisis, hoping it could help them pass time and reduce their stress or boredom. Her warning comes after major countries added alcoholic stores to the list of stores (food, beverages,drugs) allowed to stay open during the lockdown.
But turning to the bottle during these times “can make things worse,” Malik cautioned.
“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,” Dr. Malik told the Independent
“With routines out of the window, we might well find ourselves reaching for a drink more often.”
According to James Morris of South Bank London University’s center for addictive behaviors, excess alcohol consumption this period can lead to an increase in domestic violence and foster dependence.
“Predicting the longer-term behavioral impact is however particularly difficult,” he said to The Independent.
“Perhaps for some, home drinking may become more embedded, potentially exacerbated by the further closure of already struggling pubs and bars.”