1 in 5 Aussies have purchased more alcohol and 33% of them are concerned about their own drinking or someone in their household’s drinking. So, why is this the case?
The obvious answer is stress, which can be triggered by many factors. The most common causes seem to be either the loss of job or knowing someone who has lost their job. Compounded by knowing that covid-19 can be deadly. The anxiety and overdrive of empathy for others in such an unfortunate situation is difficult to shake off.
Turning to alcohol for the relaxant effect seems like an easy way out. People might take it further and consume these products to forget their troubles.
The second reason for the increase in alcohol consumption is more subtle. Traditionally, workmates and friends would socialise and bond over drinks at a bar or pub. They may only have one or two drinks, but could get carried away with more drinks if someone starts shouting rounds.
During isolation, the number of zoom meet ups have exploded and team meetings and drinking have also increased. This is a good bonding activity, but there is risk. People had a mental “off trigger” from drinking when they leave the bar or pub, regardless of how many drinks they have consumed.
But, at home, there is no clear “off trigger” to stop drinking. You may start drinking at the home office with workmates via zoom, but when would you stop drinking? Where’s your “off trigger”? It is quite easy to reach into the fridge to grab another one.
Alcohol addiction or harm is tricky and can come in many forms. Some people may not realise this and just slip into it. Sometimes, people just need to have a friendly non-judgemental check in.
However, most times, friends and family don’t offer support because it’s too hard to have those conversations. Luckily, there are organisations offering support - ranging for people who just want a gentle push towards moderating their drinking to helpline actively reducing the effect of alcohol harm.
For example, direct help is available through Alcohol Drug Foundation. They provide free and confidential alcohol and drug information or support, call the DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out Hello Sunday Morning who has developed an alcohol support app called Daybreak. It is the world’s leading online support community of people working together to change their relationship with alcohol in an anonymous, safe, and secure environment.
Getting support is one thing, but there could still be that ritual and habit of holding a glass. For some, it’s a cue to break up the day. Traditionally, alcoholic drinks have served this cue. You may not want to swap them for water or soft drinks. Fear not, there are a number of alternatives such as alcohol free cocktails, gin and beer for you to still feel the buzz without the hangover. The number of producers in Australia is growing strongly, following the trends of the UK. One way to gently help your loved one or yourself is to get them some of these alternatives without changing the habit of drinking and ritual.
Want to learn more about our alcohol free cocktails and how they are tasty, sophisticated and healthy? Check out Our Drinks page.