Drinkaware CEO Elaine Hindal comments: “With pubs and bars closed, it isn’t surprising that supermarkets are seeing a rise in the sale of alcohol. But this increase does cause us concern about the impact of continued isolation and what it might mean for people’s drinking habits.

“Having alcohol available in homes, for many people, can be a source of temptation and lead to drinking without thinking.

“Small things can quickly turn into habits, like opening a bottle of wine in the afternoon when you normally wouldn’t, sitting with a beer while you work, or drinking out of boredom. It’s important to remember that the more you drink, the more you increase your tolerance for alcohol, and over time, this can lead to dependency.

“In particular, we’re concerned for anyone who struggles with alcohol addiction or has done in the past, as well as families or couples who may be affected by domestic violence associated with alcohol. Drinking can seem like the answer when you’re feeling isolated, but alcohol can trigger aggression in some people and is a depressant. Drinking can interfere with processes in the brain that are important for good mental health as well as contribute to symptoms of severe depression.

“Even though we are isolated, the low-risk guidelines – of drinking no more than 14 units a week – remain the same. They’re there to keep you safe from the harms of alcohol, both mental and physical.”

Five signs that isolation could be having an impact on your drinking:

  1. You’re opening a bottle or can earlier in the day than you usually would
  2. You find it hard to stop at just one or two drinks
  3. You’re drinking out of boredom
  4. You drink to calm your anxiety
  5. You feel the need to drink more each time to get the same feeling

Drinkaware’s tips to moderate your drinking at home:

  1. Know the low-risk guidelines – all adults should drink no more than 14 units each week
  2. Plan drink-free days ahead – you’re more likely to stick to them
  3. Keep track of drinking with our app
  4. Have alcohol-free options on hand
  5. Use smaller glass sizes