One in 10 Scots drinking more than normal in lockdown

One in 10 adult drinkers in Scotland consumed more alcohol than normal during lockdown, according to new figures.

One in 10 are drinking more in lockdown
One in 10 are drinking more in lockdown

Drinkaware's Monitor 2020 found the equivalent of 370,000 drank more than their usual amount in the overall lockdown period from March to August, even as restrictions eased.

The figures also suggest more than a quarter (29 per cent) drank more alcohol during early lockdown - the time between March and June when the coronavirus pandemic was in its first wave.

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Half of those (50 per cent) surveyed by YouGov said the increased consumption was due to having more time available or not being occupied with other activities, while half also said it was because they had less structure to their day or week.

More than a third said they were drinking more to help with stress or anxiety (37 per cent) or to relieve boredom or for something to do (38 per cent) amid Covid-19 restrictions.

Those categorised as "higher risk drinkers" - representing nearly 700,000 Scottish adults, according to the charity - were most likely to have drunk more than normal (22 per cent) throughout lockdown.

Higher risk drinkers were also more likely to be drinking on more days a week than usual (43 per cent compared with 20 per cent of all Scottish drinkers) and to drink earlier in the day than usual (21 per cent compared with 10 per cent).

Elaine Hindal, Drinkaware chief executive, said: "Our monitor shows that when people are feeling fragile - whether they're uncertain about their futures or struggling with working at home - they could be reaching for a drink.

"And while some people adapt, many might not be getting to grips with the so-called 'new normal', continuing to drink more than they usually would.

"Drinking can cause mental health conditions or make them worse, negatively affect your sleep, lead to weight gain, and has the potential to impair your immune function.

"As a nation we must wake up to the health impact of drinking so much alcohol. The evidence clearly links drinking more to job insecurity and negative mental health.

"If general uncertainty lies ahead, it is crucial that we do not sleepwalk into the winter months and ignore these lockdown lessons. Otherwise, the UK could face a wave of alcohol-related health issues."