How the pandemic created a generation of “gray area” drinkers

MeIncreased Drinking During the pandemic, a group of people were born who did not consider themselves alcoholics but had difficulty abstaining. alcohol At any time.This group is beginning to be called drinkers in the gray areas and is at risk related to alcohol Health problems..

A relatively new term “Drinking in the gray areaDescribes people who consume more than a modest amount of alcohol but do not meet the criteria for addiction.They may not drink daily or first thing in the morning (a widespread view) Alcoholism) They are crazy about alcohol and can be difficult to give up. Many of these people do not think they need help.

A widespread increase in alcohol consumption levels is important.Most people are familiar with the risk of addiction, but there is a serious range Physical Health problems associated with increased alcohol consumption are not know of.These include: Heart disease Various cancers, including the intestines and breasts.

Liter of alcohol purchased at the store from April 2018 to March 1, 2021

(Public Health England)

In recent years, total alcohol consumption has been declining moderately, evidence Some people have increased their consumption. NS Most purchased segment The proportion of the population increased the purchase of 5.3 million liters of alcohol (+ 14.3%) from 2019 to 2021.At the same time, the physical harm caused by alcohol gain, Hospitalization and alcohol-related deaths have increased significantly.

Public Health England Collation Results of 18 self-reported alcohol consumption studies during a pandemic. Between 11% and 37% reported low drinking, while between 14% and 26% reported higher than normal drinking.This is of particular concern given that we know most people Underestimation In these studies, they drink up to 40%.

During the pandemic, the pub was closed, resulting in increased drinking at home.This may have encouraged heavy drinking, as people tend to pour large amounts of alcohol when drinking at House Compared to the measurements they are given with a bar.

evidence People who experienced stress during the pandemic have found that they increase the amount and frequency of alcohol they drink. One international study A survey of alcohol consumption during the period of self-isolation found that British drinkers were most likely to consume more alcohol. They say this is due to increased levels of Covid-related stress.

They are Research We found that consumption increased significantly when the pandemic began. Those who drank below the government-recommended weekly limit continued to stay within these limits. However, those who had already taken more than 14 units a week increased their consumption.

Current UK guidance suggests that you should consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

(Ministry of Public Health)

Level Dangerous drinking It is believed that men have more than 50 units per week and women have more than 35 units. evidence It suggests a 59% increase in the number of people reporting drinking at these levels compared to before the pandemic.

Alcohol industry Embrace Awareness that the majority of people drink responsibly. This is one of the industry’s main debates about resisting tighter regulation. The industry points out the need for personal responsibility rather than corporate responsibility, failure Define what is responsible drinking. This shifts the responsibility of changing an individual’s drinking habits to the individual, rather than requiring the industry to change marketing and promotion practices.

Now that the need to address increasing alcohol consumption has become clear, expert funding for treatment and support is available. Wither..Some sections of the alcohol industry Recommended Increase marketing costs as they are more effective than ever.Some analyzes show that alcohol companies also have second hand Blockade of targeted social media activities.And the multi-million pounds spent on marketing in the alcohol industry HugeCompared to the public health message budget: Really the struggle between David and Goliath.

Little is mentioned about alcohol or its unhealthy relationship with alcohol during a government pandemic.For example, off-license Deemed It is an essential service and must remain open during the blockade.The alcohol industry Skilled By influencing government policy in favor of it.

Industry marketing as treatment budgets are reduced Will increase And there is nothing to suggest that the demand for treatment in hospitals will diminish as alcohol, or sadly, coroners record more alcohol-related deaths.

Ian Hamilton is an associate professor of addiction at the University of York.This article first appeared conversation..

How the pandemic created a generation of “gray area” drinkers

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