United Kingdom:  Boozing soars by 50% since first Covid lockdown with one in 20 people now drinking more than five bottles of wine a week

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

United Kingdom:  Boozing soars by 50% since first Covid lockdown with one in 20 people now drinking more than five bottles of wine a week

Daily Mail

By Shari Miller For Mailonline

December 20, 2020

A record number of people are drinking more than three times the recommended amount of alcohol a week since the first national lockdown was introduced, new figures reveal.

The survey from Public Health England found that one in 20 people are drinking more than 50 units, which amounts to more than five bottles of wine.

In March, when coronavirus restrictions were first brought in across the UK, the figure was around one in 30.

Official guidelines however suggest that men and women should not consume more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

There was however also a small percentage rise among those who said they did not drink, from 34.7% to 41.3% between March and September. 

The latest numbers are a surge on figures published in a survey last month by alcohol education charity Drinkaware, which suggested 26 per cent of people in the UK increased their alcohol consumption between March and June.

That survey also found most of the increase in consumption was driven by women, with 14 per cent saying they were drinking more than 14 units per week.  

Drinkaware said the primary reasons for people drinking more since lockdown began were job insecurity, poor mental health, a lack of daily structure and more free time.

The alcohol education charity chief executive, Elaine Hindal said people had been turning to alcohol ‘as a coping mechanism’.

She added: ‘People are drinking more because they are uncertain about their work or job, but that increases massively for people who are self-employed, so it’s really important that these people are given help and support from the Government.’

Official guidelines suggest adults should not consume more than 14 units of alcohol a week

A survey by Alcohol Change UK showed one in five people were drinking alcohol as a way to handle stress or anxiety, The Sunday Times reports.

Thirty per cent of parents with children under 18 said they were more likely to have consumed alcohol for this reason, compared to 17% of non-parents and 11% of adult parents. 

Nearly a third of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds agreed they had drunk alcohol to handle stress, compared to 18% identifying as white.