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Alcohol and COVID-19

As we face the coronavirus pandemic, every country is taking action to stop the spread of the virus. With the circumstances we have now, it is essential to stay informed about other health risks so that we can stay healthy and safe. 

Some facts about the consumption of alcohol and health:

  • Alcohol has short- and long-term effects on every single organ of your body. With each drink of alcohol consumed the risk of damage to your health increases. There is no limit. 
  • Alcohol makes your immune system weak and as a result, it decreases the capability to deal with infectious diseases. 
  • Even in a very small amount, alcohol is known to cause certain types of cancer. 

What to do and not to do during a pandemic:

  • If you drink, keep your drinking to a minimum and avoid getting intoxicated. 
  • Make sure that children and young people do not have access to alcohol and do not let them see you consume alcohol. 
  • Do not mix alcohol with medications, over-the-counter medicines, or herbal. It might increase the level of potency where they can become toxic and dangerous. 
  • If you take any medication acting on the central nervous system, do not consume alcohol. 

Alcohol and home isolation or quarantine:

  • If you are working from home, do not drink, and follow your usual workplace rules. Do not be under the influence of alcohol after the lunch break and you should still be in a fit state to work. 
  • Alcohol is not needed for your diet and should not be a priority on your shopping list. Do not store up alcohol at home. Your money and time are better spent on buying nutritious food that will sustain good health. 
  • You may try an indoor workout instead of taking alcohol to pass your time at home. Physical activity or workouts will help strengthen your immune system. 
  • Drinking alcohol is not a good thing to cope with stress because it is known to increase the symptoms of panic and anxiety disorders. 
  • Alcohol use increase during self-isolation. Isolation and drinking may also increase the risk of suicide. Decreasing your alcohol consumption is very important. 
  • Alcohol is closely associated with violence. Worsened by their alcohol consumption, men do most of the violence against women. Women experiencing violence are likely to increase their alcohol as a coping mechanism. If you are a victim of violence, try to make a safety plan to escape and call your family or friends. If you are under quarantine and need to leave the house right away, call a local support hotline and reach out to someone you trust.

Alcohol use syndromes are categorized by loss of control over alcohol intake and heavy alcohol use. Even though they are amongst prevalent mental disorders generally, they are among the most stigmatized as well. People with an alcohol used disorder are at greater risk of COVID-19. It is just not only because of the impact of alcohol on their health but also they are more likely to experience homelessness. It is therefore essential under the current conditions that people who need help because of their alcohol use get all the support they need.