This year’s theme for Alcohol Awareness Week is alcohol and mental health.
The Alcohol and Drug Service delivers services as a part of the East Riding Partnership and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust.
They want to reinforce the message that help is available for anyone concerned about increased consumption, especially during the lockdown.
There is also a strong connection between alcohol and poor mental health. Yet despite this, alcohol has been described as the UK’s favourite coping mechanism.
As a psychoactive substance, alcohol radically changes thoughts and feelings. At first, it releases Dopamine “The Happy Hormone” and to maintain that feeling, requires more alcohol.
However, by continuing to drink, the dopamine high will eventually be pushed aside by the less pleasant effects. These include confusion, clumsiness, nausea and dehydration. All of which in turn can lead to higher levels of anxiety.
A CIPD employee survey showed that 27% of employees said their alcohol consumption had increased during the Coronavirus pandemic.
With lockdown 2.0 and possible further lockdowns looming during the winter months, these figures are likely to increase further.
Laura Jarvis is Senior Development Manager at The Alcohol and Drug Service and provides workplace alcohol support, through Generis.
“Alcohol Awareness Week has a timely theme with the world in the grip of a pandemic and more people feeling isolated, anxious and stressed.”
“The number of individuals presenting to our service more than doubled between March and August this year and now with lockdown 2.0 and further restrictions likely to carry on for some time yet.”
Try New Hobbies To Help Reduce Alcohol Consumption
“For some people increased alcohol consumption can be a very serious problem. Drinking heavily can lead to major life and health problems and it can happen to anyone. However, we want local people to know that there is a way out.”
“Taking practical steps to reduce alcohol intake can be as simple as drinking from a smaller glass, making a commitment avoid that second glass of wine, check the %ABV of the drink and choose a lower alternative.”
“It may also be useful to find other hobbies and interests to occupy your time. Go out and get some fresh air, take a bath, read a book. You will certainly feel the benefits of reducing alcohol use and breaking the habit.”
“We also recommend taking our online screening test. This is a quick and confidential way to find out how harmful drinking habits might be and, if needed receive personalised online support from a specialist.”
“Public Health England recommends a maximum of 14 units, spread out across the week. This equates to approximately one and a half bottles of wine.”
“However, it is not uncommon for individuals who seek our help to be exceeding 30 units per day. It creeps up and before long, it becomes difficult to stop or cut back.”
“Finding other ways to cope without seeking professional support can be difficult. If this is you, please reach out for help.”
Check if you are drinking too much, complete the questionnaire online by clicking here.
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