2021-06-03 13:02:21 UTC
COVID-19: Nearly half of UK adults going through pandemic job loss are
drinking more alcohol - survey
The figures could increase further when the furlough scheme is wound
down later this year.
Thursday 3 June 2021 02:27, UK
Drinking habits increased during the first lockdown, while death rates
related to alcohol misuse reached record levels
Alcohol consumption has gone up among people going through job loss.
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Nearly half of adults in the UK going through job loss are drinking more
than they would have done before the pandemic, a new survey suggests.
Research by the charity Drinkaware shows 49% of people who have been
made redundant - or are in the process of being made redundant - are
consuming more alcohol than they did before March 2020.
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This is up from 38% since December, the poll of 4,000 people between 27
and 30 April showed.
The figures could be set to increase next month when the government's
furlough scheme is reduced - before it ends completely on 30 September.
Nationally drinking levels have gone up across the board, with people
consuming 20% more on average.
Two thirds (66%) who are drinking high-risk levels of alcohol, which is
more than 34 units a week for women and 50 for men, are drinking more
than they did before the pandemic.
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Among parents with children under 18, 33% are drinking more than usual -
up from 24% in December - and 10% "much more".
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Drinkaware is calling for alcohol harm to be included in public health
strategies, as trends showed an "increased polarisation" in drinking
habits by the end of 2020, it said.
Its evidence and impact director Annabelle Bonus added: "Our survey
shows that there are clear differences in the drinking habits across
certain groups of the UK population, signalling a clear need for
targeted action and appropriate support.
"It is concerning that the proportion of adults drinking more since the
start of the pandemic has increased from December to April and we must
ensure that people drinking more since lockdown began get the help and
support that they need if we are to reverse this trend."