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21 June 2021

With You responds to new UCL study which shows over half of UK adults are drinking more than a year ago

A new UCL study has found that over half of UK adults are drinking more alcohol now compared to March/April 2020. The results, from the Covid-19 Social Study, found men were more likely to report an increase in alcohol consumption than women (59.2% of men vs 47.3% of women), and those aged 30-59 were most likely to have increased their drinking (56.5% versus 50.7% of those aged 18-29 and 48% of those aged 60+).

Jon Murray, Director of Services at drug, alcohol and mental health charity With You, said: 

“These figures are alarming. Isolation and heavy drinking often go hand in hand and it’s clear the pandemic has led to more people drinking as a way to cope, with many people morphing from social drinking to drinking more behind closed doors. The number of people in treatment for an alcohol issue has fallen by nearly one fifth since 2013/14. At the same time we know that around four out of five dependent drinkers aren’t accessing any kind of support. This picture means alcohol is now the biggest risk factor to ill health and death for 15-49 year olds in the UK.

“As the lockdown restrictions start to ease and people start to address some of the patterns that have developed over the past year, we need a big push to encourage more people to access treatment and support. Alcohol services are warm, non-judgemental spaces which support people to make healthier choices Many think you need to be at ‘rock bottom’ to reach out but that’s not the case. Anyone who’s concerned about their drinking would benefit from some advice and support. If you are concerned about your drinking, or that of a loved one, a great first step is talking anonymously to a trained advisor via our online webchat. Just go to www.wearewithyou.org.uk. “