Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments
An Ipsos Mori survey, in conjunction with Kings College London, has looked at public attitudes to and actions during lockdown.
Prof Colin Drummond, Professor of Addiction Psychiatry from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London said:
“Alcohol consumption and mental health are intimately linked. An increase in isolation, mental distress, depression and anxiety is likely to have been a factor driving increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, that increase in alcohol consumption is likely to increase the prevalence and severity of mental disorders, leading to increased demand for mental health care.
“There is extensive evidence that the population level of alcohol consumption is highly correlated with health harm. So with a substantial increase in alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, as shown in the latest Ipsos MORI survey, we can expect in due course a surge in alcohol related ill health including alcohol-related liver disease admissions and deaths. This will place an increased burden on our already over-stretched NHS.
“For people living with more serious alcohol problems, the pandemic has had a dual effect of increasing their vulnerability to relapse at a time when the support available from specialist alcohol treatment services has been significantly curtailed due to social distancing. There is likely to be a surge in people seeking help for alcohol problems as the pandemic progresses. But alcohol treatment services are already depleted due to cuts to the local authority’s public health grants over the last 5 years, leaving them ill equipped to respond to a surge in demand.”
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