WHO Says Drinking During Lockdown is 'Unhelpful'

By Shabana Arif on at

If you've been reaching for the chardonnay at 11am, or cracking open a cold one over brunch, stop it. It's only going to make your quarantine woes worse.

Of course, if you're not using it as a coping mechanism, and have some measure of self-control, the odd tipple isn't going to hurt. WHO's fairly obvious message is aimed at 'dependent drinkers,' and those with addictive behaviours who may turn to substance abuse. The organisation has said that it's common to turn to drugs and alcohol in a crisis. There's no doubt that stress and anxiety are on the up given the current circumstances, and the worry if that turning to such substances as a coping mechanism isn't going to help matters, and can exacerbate those feelings.

WHO Europe’s Dr Aiysha Malik, says it “can make things worse”, in case you were unaware that rolling out of bed and straight into a bottle before you've even taken a piss is a warning sign that things might not be as okay as you think they are. There's also a concern that people who have previously battled addiction may face risk of a relapse. You can still get alcohol along with your groceries, and off-licenses have been categorised as an essential business, so you there's no worry of not being able to partake, but Alcohol Change UK’s chief executive, Dr Richard Piper, bemoans the move, clutching his pearls over the fear that this may send the message that it's an essential substance.

"While keeping off licences open is consistent with clinical advice to protect those who are physically dependent on alcohol from going into dangerous withdrawal, they wouldn’t want to unintentionally send the message that alcohol is ‘essential’ to all our lives."

A bag of Maltesers isn't essential either, but you can still buy them. The availability of an item doesn't mean that it's vital for our day-to-day living, and if you've got half a brain, I don't think we need to worry about you knocking back a bottle of wine everyday now because the government has implied it's imperative to your survival simply because it's still on sale. But just in case you've undergone a lobotomy since you've been at home - Piper adds:

"It’s important that the government, alcohol producers and retailers keep reminding us that it’s best to stick to 14 units a week or less.”

You're too stupid to remember basic health guidelines, is the take away from this, so let's hope the government, shops, and strangers on the street keep reminding you at least once a day, lest you forget. [Independent]

Feature image credit: Unsplash