The UK is notoriously known for its bad drinking habits. Binge drinking, heavy nights out and extreme hangovers are all part and parcel of the British drinking culture, no matter the consequences of excessive drinking habits.
Yet, just as our norms have changed throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our drinking habits have also altered, for the worst. The key culprit of this rise is the covid-19 lockdowns and the impacts that they have carried. From loneliness, to financial and health worries, to heighten anxieties and mental health concerns, our drinking habits as a nation has intensified.
While many may argue that alcohol consumption has increased down to boredom or spare time, for the majority, they have increased down to stress, down to the necessity of a coping strategy, and down to the desire to escape our new norm.
Sadly, through heightened drinking habits, more and more people are becoming at risk of developing dependence, even as chronic as an addiction diagnosis. Here’s where professional intervention will be necessary. If your drinking habits have altered for the worst, please be reassured that support is still available, that treatment centres are still open, and that overcoming alcoholism is possible, which we can facilitate at Rehab Clinics Group.
If you’re wondering ‘how has covid-19 changed our drinking habits?’, here’s exactly how, also carrying concerns for future lockdowns, for future regulations, and for future takes on the norm.
Pre covid-19 drinking habits
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, UK drinking habits were recognised as extreme. For most, consumption would take place on weekends, seen as binge drinking. While excessive levels of alcohol may be consumed, consumption would be ranked as innocent.
However, for a proportion of individuals, that innocent consumption has turned into alcoholism. Unfortunately, alcohol addiction rates are very high across Britain, especially in comparison to other countries. This is down to the normalisation of alcohol as a coping strategy, as a relaxing technique and as a way to feel united on social scales.
Through our normal reality, drinking habits have defined our culture in ways, which sometimes has resulted in negative stereotypes. For some, this stereotype has stigmatised support for alcoholism, making it hard to reach out for personal and professional support. Yet, through the recent emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, those difficulties have increased even more, where users are battling both a stigma and a virus.
If you’re wondering ‘how has covid-19 changed our drinking habits as a nation?’ or if you’re worried that your drinking habits may have escalated personally, keep reading.
How has covid-19 changed our drinking habits?
Worryingly, covid-19 has changed our drinking habits for the worst. What once ranked as excessive has now tipped the scales as dangerous, where safe drinking guidelines have been exceeded.
Not only have alcohol sales increased at an unprecedented rate, but stronger forms of alcohol have also taken over the sales forecasts, where spirits are now some of the most commonly consumed forms of alcohol.
There are many reasons why our drinking habits have changed, down to covid-19, with a large focus on lockdowns and even some people losing their jobs due to business sustainability. Through covid-19 lockdowns, we’ve found ourselves with greater time on our hands.
However, for many, that time has fuelled anxieties, has aggravated cravings and has provided greater opportunity to rely on alcohol. Lockdowns have also caused significant stress, have placed pressure on relationships, have caused life-changing money worries, and have spread fear across communities and generations.
Understandably, a change of habits is very normal when considering a change in lifestyle. However, the results linked to alcohol consumption and drinking habits are ranked as risky, pushing many individuals over the edge.
Concerns are present across the board, where many individuals have abused the safe drinking guidelines, recommended by the government. However, the greatest concern, focusing on how covid-19 has changed our drinking habits concentrates on those who already abuse alcohol and/or those with existing addiction diagnosis.
Signs that you’re drinking too much
Before our new norm, caused by covid-19, you may have ranked your drinking habits as pretty standard, as a reflection of our drinking culture. However, through these vast changes, you may have noticed a rise in your consumption levels or the consistency of your drinking sessions.
It is very important to consider your own personal consumption levels, as an addiction diagnosis may be approaching if you continue to unknowingly enable your current drinking habits. An addiction may feel miles away for you, you may in fact laugh at the likelihood. However, an addiction will begin with heightened drinking habits, which has been the result for many through the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re finding that:
- You cannot stop your alcohol consumption
- Your alcohol consumption has heightened through covid-19 lockdowns
- You’re relying on alcohol to cope through the pandemic
- You’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms in between drinking sessions
- You’re drinking for no particular reason
- You’re experiencing physical and psychological side effects
- You’re continuing to drink, even if consequences are ahead
There’s a likelihood that your drinking habits have escalated from normal, towards addictive tendencies. In this case, sourcing support for your drinking habits will be encouraged.
Support with alcoholism throughout the Coronavirus pandemic
Whether covid-19 has changed your drinking habits, or you’ve lived with a pre-existing dependence on alcohol, it is important that you know that support is still available, even throughout national lockdowns.
Your physical and psychological health is very important, especially throughout the coronavirus pandemic. You should take your health seriously and source support, whether that’s virtually, personally or in-person on a professional basis.
Your heightened drinking habits may be a clear sign of addiction, of mental health issues, or of a mere change in lifestyle. It is very important that you do work to overcome the obstacles of stigmatisation and of coronavirus to ensure that your relationship with alcohol can be normalised or diminished.
At Rehab Clinic Groups, we have a number of rehab facilities which offer outpatient and inpatient rehab programmes. Some are specifically designed to work through excessive drinking habits, which are still available throughout our current lockdowns and beyond.
It is very important that you avoid normalising dangerous drinking habits, through our new norm. We as a world are unsure of what’s to come with covid-19. Yet, through self-control, you can be sure that your future alcohol consumption can be controlled.
If you’re still wondering ‘how has covid-19 changed our drinking habits?’, reach out today. We are here for you throughout this unprecedented time, and into the future.