Vows to cut boozing after Covid lockdown went down the drain

Vows to cut boozing after Covid lockdown went down the drain as survey finds almost a quarter of drinkers failed to meet their pledge

  • YouGov poll finds less than half of people stuck to plans to cut back on drinking
  • Around a quarter reduced alcohol consumption before falling into old habits 
  • Charity found 49 per cent said alcohol helps them with stress and anxiety
  • Spread of Omicron cited as ‘likely to be contributing’ to stress, Drinkaware says  

It’s coming up to the time of year when many of us start to think about cutting down on our drinking.

But all those resolutions are easier to make than stick to – as people who vowed to drink less after Covid restrictions were lifted this year discovered.

Less than half of those who told a poll in June that they would cut back had done so by this month, YouGov found.

The survey on behalf of alcohol education charity Drinkaware found that around a quarter managed to reduce their drinking for a short while before falling back into old habits, while another 23 per cent failed completely to meet their pledge.

Drinkaware found 49 per cent said alcohol had helped them cope with stress and anxiety, while 36 per cent said they had turned to drink to help to relieve their boredom.

Half of those who failed to cut back are looking to drink less next month and 22 per cent of those are aiming to take part in Dry January.

Less than half of those who told a poll in June that they would cut back on alcohol after Covid restrictions had been lifted had actually done so by this month, a YouGov poll has found

The charity’s Annabelle Bonus said: ‘Even with the best of intentions, it can be incredibly tough to reduce the amount you drink. But it’s never too late to make a change.’

In June, Drinkaware revealed almost half of UK adults who were made redundant or were in the process of redundancy were drinking more than they usually would before the pandemic.

A total of 35 per cent of people surveyed said taking drink-free days had helped, whereas 23 per cent said avoiding drinking alcohol on a “school/work night” helped.

Some 19 per cent cited not having alcohol in at home helped ease their drinking and 16 per cent said staying off alcohol for a fixed amount of time meant they drank a lot less.

The summer poll also suggested that two-thirds of drinkers were drinking at high-risk levels (more than 34 units of alcohol a week for women and more than 50 for men), more than they would have before the pandemic.

Miss Bonus added: ‘The current uncertainty about Omicron is also likely to be contributing to feelings of stress and anxiety which people said were a barrier to them cutting back.

‘Regularly drinking above the UK chief medical officers’ guidelines of 14 units a week can increase your risk of a range of health conditions including seven types of cancer so don’t be put off if you’ve failed to stick to your plans.’

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