Drinking during COVID? It could help you curb these habits

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Like many other Australians, Erin’s alcohol consumption has increased since the lockdown of Greater Sydney began.

“[I’m drinking] more because I’m bored and have time to make cocktails, ”she said.

Erin, in her twenties, said she “never” drinks normally, but now resumes drinking up to four drinks three nights a week.

Ella, also in her 20s, has been sober for six months after “drinking too much” throughout Sydney’s last lockdown.

She said Food she cut back after a few months of finishing a bottle of wine every Friday during “Zoom Work Drinks”.

When it was announced that Greater Sydney would be plunged into lockdown, photos of people rushing to the pub for ‘last drinks’ flooded Instagram.

Food observed Instagram story after Instagram story of so-called “COVID survival packs”: bottles of red in carts and homemade martinis by hand.

Instead of “Dry July”, the captions read “Lockdown tried” or “Cheers Sydney” next to the bottle transport images.

Is hitting the bottle in containment a bad idea?

“Having your feed inundated with something like people rushing to buy wine can make you feel like you should be doing the same, even though you know it’s not the best thing for you right now. “said Jackie Hallan, Head of Service Delivery. at ReachOut.

Ms Hallan said COVID-19 restrictions have had a disproportionate impact on young people people in Australia – and that some may turn to alcohol to cope.

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“A lot of people feel stressed about things like the future and jobs,” she said. Food.

“It’s important to know that in some cases alcohol can exacerbate mental health problems and make it even more difficult to manage. “

Mrs Hallan said young Australians drink less than previous generations overall, but the impact of the pandemic on their drinking habits remains to be seen.

“If you are a young person who may be having difficulty with alcohol, take some time to think about how social media can play a role in this,” she said.

“Consciously following accounts that encourage you to do things that support your mental health and well-being can have a big impact on how you feel. “

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Experts suspect there has been an increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic.

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In times of crisis, alcohol consumption often increases, said Dr Erin Lalor, CEO of the Alcohol and Drugs Foundation.

She said if the new drinking patterns that started during the lockdown continue over time, you could be at risk of developing an unhealthy alcohol addiction.

“Since the COVID-19 epidemic, people have been using alcohol as a coping mechanism. If you are feeling sad, alone, stressed or anxious, it is best to avoid drinking alcohol, as it can make those feelings worse, ”said Dr Lalor.

ADF Research August 2020 shows that while 20% of Australians drank less alcohol during the lockdown, a worrying number increased the amount they drank.

At least 12% of people drank every day during the lockdown, and one in 10 said they averaged more than 10 standard drinks per week.

“People need to understand that there are no health benefits of alcohol, in fact alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, disrupt your sleep, and worsen feelings of stress and anxiety. “said Dr Lalor.

Taking a break from alcohol can have short- and long-term health benefits, such as weight loss and clearer skin, according to Katie Evans, CEO of July dry foundation.

She said a recent Dry July study showed that 86% of Australians believe they would benefit from less alcohol in their life, and two-thirds of Australians admit to being sober and curious and want to try a free period. alcohol.

Ms Evans believes the lockdown is the perfect opportunity to reflect on drinking instead of “letting bad habits form”.

“We are encouraging people to get involved in Dry July… and most importantly, help raise important funds for those affected by cancer,” she said.

Those who undertake ‘Dry July’ abstain from alcohol for a month to raise funds for cancer research.

Since 2008, the foundation has raised more than $ 60 million for people touched by cancer and supported more than 80 cancer organizations.

“Everything Dry July funds is aimed at making a person’s cancer journey a little bit easier and removing some of the stress and burden that comes with a cancer diagnosis,” said Ms. Evans.

“This includes transportation to treatment, accommodation close to the hospital, information services such as cancer helplines and nurses, comfort items and wellness therapy programs. be complementary like art therapy and exercise therapy. ”

You can register now for Dry July at www.dryjuly.com.

Try the quick drink calculator to find out how your alcohol consumption measures: https://adf.org.au/reducing-risk/alcohol/alcohol-guidelines/

For free, confidential advice on alcohol and other drugs, call the National Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Safety rope also has a 24-hour telephone and online consultation service.


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