THE number of Brits downing high-risk levels of alcohol almost doubled during lockdown.
Shocking new figures show the number of problem drinkers surged to 8.4 million since February when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.
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The number of Brits who are problem drinkers has almost doubled during lockdown[/caption]
One in five of us are risking our health by hitting the bottle too hard, research by the Royal College of Psychiatrists showed.
The stress of the Covid-19 crisis and its financial fallout have been blamed for rocketing numbers drowning their sorrows.
Working from home has also been highlighted as panicked Brits turn to drink, the Daily Mail reports.
Experts warned of serious consequences for the country’s health and alcoholism.
It comes after the number of coronavirus cases in the UK rose by 2,621 on Monday, as nine more deaths were recorded
Some 40 per cent of middle class Brits are now drinking too much, up from 28 per cent in February.
Julia Sinclair, a royal college professor, said: “Many will developother health problems including liver disease, stomach ulcers, pancreatitis and depression.
“Drug-related deaths and alcohol-related hospital admissions were already at all-time highs before Covid-19.
‘The looming addiction crisis cannot be tackled unless there is substantialinvestment from government.”
The looming addiction crisis cannot be tackled unless there is substantialinvestment from government
Julia Sinclair, a royal college professor
Meanwhile, pubs could be shut at 9pm if Covid cases do not start falling.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists report analysed Public Health England research on indirect effects of the deadly bug.
A questionnaire was used to assess alcohol consumption
Anyone who scored eight points or more were deemed high-risk drinkers, with in five – 19 per cent – in the high-risk category, up from 10.8 per cent in February.
The figure is the equivalent of 8.4 million people in England.
Doctors fear the rise in problem boozers could overwhelm addiction services and hit the NHS.
Drinking excessively can cause strokes, heart disease and liver failure.
Sir Ian Gilmore, chairs of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: “The worrying findings from this report highlight the hidden alcohol harm crisis.
“Before the pandemic, only one in five harmful and dependent drinkers got the help they needed; that proportion will besignificantly lower now.
“With the increase in harmful drinking in the wake of social isolation, unemployment and financial hardship coinciding with reductions in treatment services, the call for an urgent government alcohol strategyis not just empty rhetoric – it is essential.”
Rosanna O’Connor of Public Health England said: ‘TheCovid-19 pandemic has meant we have all made significantchanges to our everyday lives.
‘Some of this has been conscious, and in other cases it may well have crept up on us without us noticing.
“The data shows that there are now more high-risk drinkers compared with before lockdown.
“One of the ways people can reduce their risk is by taking days offfrom drinking.”.
There are fears of a looming health time bomb as panicked Brits hit the bottle[/caption]