- Alcohol policy priorities for the next parliament
- Young drinkers believe prominent health warnings on alcohol could boost risk awareness
- Australian ministers agree to visible pregnancy warning
- Alcohol and the Workplace Effective Interventions
- Alcohol sales and consumption in Scotland during the pandemic
- Invitation to Tender - Alcohol Marketing Evidence Review
- How can we prevent alcohol deaths?
- Alcohol Deaths and Minimum Unit Pricing
- Young Scots show support for restrictions on alcohol marketing
- YoungScot Health Panel report on alcohol marketing and harm
- New release of alcohol related hospital admissions
- Better alcohol labelling – A way to boost awareness of the risk between alcohol and cancer?
- Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support
- Almost half of Scots in favour of minimum unit pricing
- NICE Guidelines on FASD Surveillance or Support?
- Leading health charities call for action in Scotland
- Health experts campaign for better understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Health experts call for alcohol labelling overhaul
- Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress
- Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes new WHO report on alcohol pricing
- Statistical analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in the year following MUP
- Alcohol Focus Scotland Review of statements of licensing policy 2018 to 2023
- Scotland needs to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- We need to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- Scots report changing drinking patterns during coronavirus lockdown
- Time to Blow the Whistle on Alcohol Sport Sponsorship
- Five top tips for working remotely
- New evidence demonstrates that alcohol ads lead to youth drinking
- Alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP
- First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP
- Commission on Alcohol Harm calls for evidence
- Two years on Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?
- We need to do more to protect our children and young people
- Alcohol related hospital admissions for 2018 to 2019
- Hitting the right note in training
- Minimum unit pricing update
- Scottish primary children call for action on alcohol
- New Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support Now Available from AFS
- Its time to tell us whats in our drinks
- A home for Rory
- Making a bad impression - blog post
- Alcohol sales and MUP
- Alcohol-specific deaths 2018
- Five tips for upping the engagement factor
- Alcohol marketing and children debate in the Scottish Parliament
- Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years
- Research into fall in violence
- The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
- Five tips for training delivery nerves
- Minimum unit pricing one year on
- More about sales data
- A family of resources it is all about prevention, education and resilience
- AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018
- Marketing unmasked dispelling the myths and taking a stand
- No place for alcohol marketing in sport
- Five pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
- Oh Lila goes digital
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Quarter of Scots drink above guidelines
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Budget: No change in alcohol duty
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
- Online help for families affected by alcohol
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Drink drive warning
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- Scottish Government receives European alcohol award
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Alcohol and mental health are closely linked
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- Alcohol sold at pocket money prices
- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
- Time to kick alcohol out of sport
- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress
A new survey commissioned by Alcohol Focus Scotland and Alcohol Change UK found that in Scotland people who were already drinking at high levels before the pandemic were more likely to have increased their drinking during lockdown, and stress was a key factor.
The representative Opinium survey of 550 adults in Scotland shows over a quarter (27%) of respondents reported drinking more than usual during lockdown, worryingly this figure increases to a third for those drinking at higher levels before lockdown (33% of those drinking seven or more units on a single occasion).
In times of stress some people can drink more often or more heavily. Dealing with stress was cited by around one fifth of all respondents as a reason for drinking. For those drinking more than usual, more than half (51%) said this has been a way to handle stress or anxiety.
These new habits have been a source of worry for many, with almost half (48%) of those who reported drinking more during lockdown having felt concerned at the levels they are consuming.
Meanwhile almost one fifth of all respondents (18%) reported feeling concerned about the amount a friend or family member is drinking during lockdown.
Encouragingly, 54% of those who reported drinking more than usual during lockdown have already taken steps to manage their drinking, and 59% plan to do so once lockdown eases. Almost two-fifths (37%) of those drinking more than usual expect to drink less as pubs and restaurants reopen, however a quarter (24%) expect their drinking to increase further at this time.
Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said, “While it is encouraging to hear that people who have been drinking more during lockdown are planning to take action to reduce their intake, it can be hard to change habits once they are established. Stress was identified as a key factor for many and unfortunately these stresses aren’t necessarily going to go away with the easing of lockdown restrictions. Many people are worrying about going back to work, their children returning to school, or concerned about using public transport. Some may not have a job to return to, creating additional uncertainty at an already difficult time.
“It can be tempting to have a drink to “take the edge off” our worries but alcohol is a depressant that can increase our anxiety and disrupt our sleep, making it more difficult to deal with stress. Our alcohol use may become part of the problem, taking a toll on our mental and physical health and damaging our relationships.
“We need to make sure that people can get ready access to the help they need to address patterns of drinking which may place them at increased risk of illness - including of coronavirus complications – and put more pressure on our health services.
“Alcohol services, which were already hard-pressed before this crisis, may experience even greater demand after it.
“Alongside adequate service provision it is crucial that our national recovery effort builds on the good work we have started in addressing Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol. By addressing how readily available alcohol is and how heavily it is marketed we can improve the lives of thousands of Scots by preventing problems developing in the first place.”
The figures from the polling indicate that lockdown may have added to our already unhealthy relationship with alcohol with more of us drinking more to deal with stress and worrying about the consequences. Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, who provide support for anyone concerned about someone else’s drinking or drug use, see the reality of increased consumption every day. Since March they have experienced unprecedented numbers of calls to their helpline with people seeking support for themselves and their loved ones.
Justina Murray, chief executive of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, said, “The number of people contacting the Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs Helpline during lockdown has been twice the level for the same period last year (mid-March to mid-July). This includes a four-fold increase in people contacting us with concerns about their own substance use, as well as a 56% increase in contact from family members concerned about others. Lockdown has brought tremendous pressures on families affected by their loved ones drinking, with alcohol consumption increasing, consumption within the home increasing, and many of the usual support mechanisms not available to families during this period.”
23 July 2020.