How Coronavirus has changed our drinking habits


 Coronavirus drinking habits

Research shows that during the Covid-19 lockdown, alcohol sales have risen globally by a staggering 291%. With the sales of spirits rocketing by 31.7%, this suggests that not only are we drinking more but that we are also opting for stronger types of alcohol. 1

These latest statistics for alcohol sales provided by Nielsen, a global analytics company, show that many in lockdown are turning to alcohol in order to cope.

As the lockdown approaches its 8th consecutive week in the UK with no real end in sight, isolation, fear and boredom are the main reasons more people are seeking relief through alcohol.

Naturally, with all the additional stress and unprecedented fear that coronavirus brings, it is understandable that so many are turning to alcohol and other substances as a source of comfort or escape.

It is important to know IF you are drinking to harmful levels and WHEN to seek professional help. For those who suffer from an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), professional treatment can be the difference between life and death.

Am I drinking too much?

If this is a question you are seriously contemplating, then you probably already are drinking too much.

The low-risk drinking guidelines for England, Scotland and Wales recommend that both men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

Furthermore, these 14 units of alcohol should be spread out evenly, with at least two to three alcohol-free days a week.

New figures published by charities Alcohol Focus Scotland and Alcohol Change UK suggest that the majority of Scots and Brits are changing the way that they drink. While many are changing their drinking habits for the better, the poll reports that an equal measure has changed their drinking habits for the worse. 2

Polling statistics from the report show that more than 1 million Scots are drinking more than they were prior to the Covid-19 lockdown measures being implemented. 2

Those who are worst affected by harmful drinking levels are mainly those who already drank above The Chief Medical Officers safe drinking guidelines before the lockdown came into effect. 2

Regularly drinking above 14 units of alcohol a week puts you at higher risk of various cancers, liver disease and stroke.

If you are starting to feel that your physical or mental health is suffering as a result of too much alcohol, then there are treatment options and support networks available to assist you in reducing or stopping alcohol completely.

Do I need professional help with my alcohol use?

It is easy to slip into using alcohol as a coping mechanism to reduce anxiety, help with sleep and prevent boredom. However, regularly drinking too much actually makes all of these things worse.

As a result of drinking too much alcohol, you will suffer increased anxiety, have poor quality sleep, become lethargic, depressed and unmotivated.

Alcohol is a powerful toxin, and while it may provide temporary relief, the long term effects of heavy drinking should be given serious consideration.

You will likely need professional help with your alcohol use if :

  • You are unable to reduce your drinking of your own accord.
  • You have become tolerant to alcohol and have had to increase the amount you drink.
  • You suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, indicating alcohol dependence.
  • You are shaky, anxious and jittery in the mornings and feel that having a drink would relieve these symptoms.
  • You regularly drink to blackout or to sleep.
  • You try to hide the extent of your drinking from other household members.
  • When you drink you become unpredictable (i.e. tearful, depressed, aggressive or violent)
  • You have tried to stop drinking but always relapse.
  • You are continuing to drink alcohol despite harmful consequences to your health, relationships, finances or career.

Signs that you suffer from an alcohol misuse disorder include: Wanting to stop drinking but being unable to and regularly losing control of the amount you drink.

Alcohol treatment during Coronavirus

Where alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction is present, willpower alone is very rarely enough to overcome it.

Alcoholism is medically recognised as a chronic disorder of the brain. It requires specialist medical and therapeutic treatment in order to recover.

At Detox Plus UK, we provide residential alcohol detox and therapeutic rehabilitation for any individual who needs help to stop drinking.

Our inpatient alcohol rehab centres are still in operation during the Covid-19 lockdown. All of our CQC registered alcohol rehabs follow government measures to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep our patients safe.

Like all medical/health facilities, we have had to change the way that we work in line with government recommendations. This, however, does not mean that your treatment or safety will be compromised in any way. If anything you may well benefit from the reduced number of patients that our rehabs are currently able to accommodate as a safeguarding measure against Covid-19.

Alcohol rehab now

There is no time like the present to seek help for an alcohol problem. If you are unsure what kind of treatment you need Detox Plus UK will gladly advise you.

Free alcohol help can be accessed through mutual aid support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous who are still very much in operation through their online meetings. 3

If you need inpatient alcohol detox and rehabilitation, delaying treatment or not accessing the correct treatment will only make things worse. Alcohol use disorders are progressive in nature. The earlier alcohol treatment is sought, the better.

Call Detox Plus UK today to find out how we can help you or a loved one get sober during Covid-19. As a leading authority on alcohol addiction and alcohol rehab will do our utmost to ensure you access the treatment that will work for you.






  1. Rebalancing the ‘COVID-19 Effect’ on alcohol sales
  2. Alcohol Focus Scotland 
  3. Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain