One in four adults in the UK are concerned about the potential impact of lockdown easing on their alcohol consumption, according to new research by With You.
A poll of 2,000 people commissioned by the charity found ‘widespread concern’ about falling back into old drinking habits or shaking off drinking patterns developed during lockdown.
The same proportion also said they’d be reluctant or embarrassed to seek support for problematic alcohol use, while two thirds wouldn’t feel comfortable starting a conversation with a partner, friend or family member if they were worried about their drinking. This is despite one in ten respondents saying that they did have concerns about someone else’s drinking.
The charity has also launched a new public awareness campaign to help people have ‘more open, positive’ conversations about alcohol. ‘Find the Right Moment’ includes a video about how to raise the issue of someone’s drinking and encourage them to seek appropriate help, as well as a campaign page with links to alcohol support locally or online. The keys to talking to someone about their drinking include properly preparing yourself, looking for ‘green light’ moments and being patient, says the charity.
‘For many, the long-awaited easing of lockdown restrictions is an exciting time, allowing people to socialise and reconnect with friends and family,’ said With You’s executive director of services for England, Jon Murray. ‘But this research shows that for some it’s also a time of heightened concern, with many feeling pressure to drink more when socialising, worrying they’ll be unable to reverse drinking habits developed during lockdown or fearing they may fall back into old habits.
‘Alcohol is everywhere in our society, but often people feel ashamed and embarrassed to talk about it, compounding feelings of shame and isolation,’ he continued. ‘Behind most recovery stories is the support of family and friends. People are understandably worried about how and when to bring up the issue of a loved one’s drinking, fearing they could make things worse or be met with anger, but a non-judgemental conversation can make a big difference and be the first step in someone making positive changes.’
Find the Right Moment campaign at: