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Coronavirus (COVID-19): a message to everyone we support.

Alcohol: staying safe during the coronavirus outbreak

If you’re in the habit of drinking regularly (every day or almost every day) it’s important to know that stopping or changing your drinking habit suddenly can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Call NHS 111 or go to NHS 111 online if you cut down or stop drinking and start to get any of these symptoms:

  • shaking or trembling
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • feeling sick or vomiting
  • sweating
  • confusion
  • racing pulse or heart rate
  • seizures (fits)

These symptoms can start anything up to 72 hours (3 days) after you have your last drink.

Isn’t the NHS too busy with coronavirus?

The NHS is busy because of the coronavirus outbreak, but alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and still need urgent medical attention.

I’m a regular drinker who lives alone. How else can I stay safe?

If you’re staying at home on your own, ask friends or family members to phone or message you regularly. Ask them to call 101 (the police non-emergency number) if they can’t get any response from you. Someone will come and check you're OK.

Try not to pick up another habit

It can be tempting to pick up another drug, such as benzos, if you’re not able to drink. Bear in mind that switching drugs carries its own risks and can lead to more problems in the long run.

Get support

If you need support with alcohol withdrawal you can contact your local With You service or chat to us online.