You probably noticed the news reports of panic buying in retail liquor stores even though the Australian Government announced that the continuation of retail alcohol services was seen as an ‘essential service’, along with supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations. So, with liquor shops remaining open through the crisis are people drinking more?
Hello Sunday Morning conducted a survey to see whether Australians were drinking more or less during the pandemic, and look at underlying reasons for variations. The survey found that about one in five were drinking more, just two weeks into isolation. For those reporting an increase, the most-cited reason was boredom (53%), with stress/anxiety next (45%), and loneliness was only given as a reason by one in five (20%).
For people who reported drinking more, they were asked why they were doing that. The answers came back grouped in two bands. Between 41-53% of people nominated ‘boredom’, ‘anxiety or stress’ ‘keeping my spirits up’ and ‘tempting, as more time at home’ as their main reason, while 14-21% said ‘loneliness’, ‘no need to get up early’ and ‘no consequence for a hangover’.
Then there’s the question of drinking alone. A lot of people may have been happy to do this under normal pre-COVID circumstances but find drinking alone under COVID to be a very different experience. In the past, it might be something that was not done often and now find under social isolation, there’s no friend or partner or colleague involved therefore nobody to act as a moderating influence or handbrake.
At Amima Counselling Brisbane we see numerous clients who present for counselling with a variety drinking problems. If your worried about your drinking, then please do not hesitate to contact us via our website at amima.com.au. We are offering face to face counselling along with safe and secure online Telehealth services.