Boozing up 50% with one in 20 drinking  five bottles of wine a week

Boozing soars by 50% since first Covid lockdown with one in 20 people now drinking more than five bottles of wine a week

  •  Record number of people are consuming three times recommended amount
  •  Official guidelines suggest adults should consume no more than 14 units a week
  •  One in 20 drink more than 50 units, up from March when figure was one in 30

A record number of people are drinking more than three times the recommended amount of alcohol a week since the first national lockdown was introduced, new figures reveal.

The survey from Public Health England found that one in 20 people are drinking more than 50 units, which amounts to more than five bottles of wine.

In March, when coronavirus restrictions were first brought in across the UK, the figure was around one in 30.

A survey from Public Health England found one in 20 people are drinking more than 50 units

Official guidelines however suggest that men and women should not consume more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

There was however also a small percentage rise among those who said they did not drink, from 34.7% to 41.3% between March and September. 

The latest numbers are a surge on figures published in a survey last month by alcohol education charity Drinkaware, which suggested 26 per cent of people in the UK increased their alcohol consumption between March and June.

A record number of people are drinking more than three times the recommended amount of alcohol a week, according to Public Health England (stock image)

That survey also found most of the increase in consumption was driven by women, with 14 per cent saying they were drinking more than 14 units per week.  

Drinkaware said the primary reasons for people drinking more since lockdown began were job insecurity, poor mental health, a lack of daily structure and more free time.

In March, when coronavirus restrictions were first brought in across the UK, around one in 30 people said they were consuming more than 50 units of alcohol a week

The alcohol education charity chief executive, Elaine Hindal said people had been turning to alcohol ‘as a coping mechanism’.

She added: ‘People are drinking more because they are uncertain about their work or job, but that increases massively for people who are self-employed, so it’s really important that these people are given help and support from the Government.’

Official guidelines suggest adults should not consume more than 14 units of alcohol a week

A survey by Alcohol Change UK showed one in five people were drinking alcohol as a way to handle stress or anxiety, The Sunday Times reports.

Thirty per cent of parents with children under 18 said they were more likely to have consumed alcohol for this reason, compared to 17% of non-parents and 11% of adult parents. 

Nearly a third of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds agreed they had drunk alcohol to handle stress, compared to 18% identifying as white.


Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol abuse and involves the inability to manage drinking habits.

It is organised into three categories: mild, moderate and severe. Each category has various symptoms and can cause harmful side effects.

If left untreated, any type of alcohol abuse can spiral out of control. 

Individuals struggling with alcoholism often feel as though they cannot function normally without alcohol.

This can lead to a wide range of issues and impact professional goals, personal matters, relationships and overall health.

Sometimes the warning signs of alcohol abuse are very noticeable. Other times, they can take longer to surface. 

When alcohol addiction is discovered in its early stages, the chance for a successful recovery increases significantly.

Common signs of alcoholism include:

  • Being unable to control alcohol consumption
  • Craving alcohol when you’re not drinking
  • Putting alcohol above personal responsibilities
  • Feeling the need to keep drinking more
  • Spending a substantial amount of money on alcohol
  • Behaving differently after drinking

Short-term effects of alcohol abuse can be just as dangerous as long-term effects. 

For instance, drinking can impact your reaction time, causing you to have slow reflexes and coordination.

That’s why drinking and driving is extremely dangerous. Getting behind the wheel of a car can alter your perception of speed and distance, putting yourself and others at risk.

Several short-term effects of alcohol abuse may produce:

  • Slow reaction time
  • Poor reflexes
  • Reduce brain activity
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Restlessness

Additionally, consuming too much alcohol can affect your long-term health. Some side effects may lay dormant for years before they surface.

Because of this, professional medical care is required for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Long-term health conditions caused by alcohol:

  • Brain defects 
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes complications
  • Heart problems
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Vision damage
  • Bone loss 

Treatment for Alcoholism 

There are different forms of treatment available based on frequency and severity of alcohol abuse. 

Recovering from alcohol addiction is a process that continues long after rehab. 

It takes commitment to practice and apply the techniques you learn in rehab, counseling, support groups and other types of therapy.

Although every individual will have their own recovery plan that’s tailored to their specific needs, treatment generally follows a structure.

Alcohol treatment is broken into three sections, consisting of:


The first stage in alcohol addiction recovery is detoxification. This phase should be completed with the help of medical professionals due to the potential for serious, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Many times, individuals are given a medication to help alleviate the painful side effects of a withdrawal.


There are two types of rehabilitation that help treat alcoholism: inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehabs are intensive treatment programs that require you to check into a facility for a certain period of time, usually 30, 60 or 90 days. Outpatient rehab allows individuals to participate in a recovery program while continuing with their daily life. Talk with your doctor about treatment options to determine which form of recovery will best fit your needs.


The recovery process doesn’t end with the completion of rehab. Long-term sobriety requires ongoing therapy and may entail support groups, counseling and other recovery resources. These will make sure you maintain sobriety and continue on a happy, healthy path for months and years to come.

Source: Alcohol Rehab Guide

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