Mackay psychologist Sonia Wyatt warns against excessive alcohol use during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Mackay psychologist Sonia Wyatt warns against excessive alcohol use during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Psychologist warns against alcohol abuse during Covid-19

A MACKAY psychologist has warned against using alcohol as a form of self-medication during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Psychologist Sonia Wyatt, of Northern Australia Health Ltd, who works with Headspace Mackay, highlighted the dangers of people turning to alcohol to self medicate during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There has been a rise in the number of adults abusing alcohol during the coronavirus lockdown,” Ms Wyatt said.

“However, they are mindful of it and they are talking about it, which is encouraging.”

“While alcohol can make you feel better in the short term, in the long term it negatively impacts mental health and other health problems.

“Drinking to excess can make existing problems worse or create new issues,” she said.

Ms Wyatt’s warning follows the Australian Heart Foundation reminder to Australians, particularly those with heart conditions, to keep an eye on their alcohol intake at home as virtual happy hours and ‘quarantinis’ become the new normal under Covid-19 restrictions.

A new YouGov poll of more than 1000 Australians reveals one in five households has been buying extra alcohol during the pandemic.

Of those, 70 per cent say they are drinking more alcohol than usual, with a third drinking daily.

Reports on how the lockdown has affected household spending reflect a rise in retail alcohol sales in the wake of social distancing measures and the closure of restaurants and bars.

While outlays on alcohol have dropped since the huge 86 per cent spike in spending at liquor stores in late March, when shoppers were stockpiling alcohol, a CommBank analysis shows we still spent 28 per cent more at bottle shops in the week ending April 3 compared with the same time last year.


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