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Covid-19

Alcohol & Drug Use In Lockdown

Mel is a CLiCK Women’s Worker for Grampian, based out of Alcohol & Drugs Action. This week on our blog, she explores how coronavirus and living under lockdown conditions, may have affected our alcohol and drug use, as well as some useful resources to help us look after ourselves.

Coronavirus has affected every part of our lives over the last few months and, although some restrictions are slowly being lifted, living under lockdown conditions has been particularly difficult for us all.

Feelings of isolation, loneliness, boredom and missing out on vital contact with our families and friends have led us all to look for ways of coping with what has become our ‘new normal’.

Recent research tells us that over a fifth of UK adults report that their drinking has increased during lockdown. We only have to look to the rise in popularity of ‘virtual pub quiz nights’ over Zoom calls and viral videos on platforms such as Tik Tok back this up.

There are many articles online - including this one - that detail peoples more recent experiences with alcohol.

We also know, from people contacting Alcohol & Drugs Action for support, that many people now chose to buy drugs such as ketamine, nitrous oxide (whippets), GHB and various other tablets and powders online so, even though the more traditional routes of accessing or buying drugs from other people may have been restricted, people have still been using these drugs in their own homes during lockdown.

One woman, Stacey, told us at Alcohol & Drugs Action recently:

‘As my normal routine is all to pot I’ve been struggling to sleep during lockdown. My doctor won’t prescribe me sleeping tablets anymore so I have been buying whatever I can online and been getting them delivered to me via the post instead.’

Now, of course, we know that some people will drink alcohol or use drugs with very little negative impact on their lives – during the current pandemic or otherwise.

However, for some people using these substances can become problematic – particularly if they are being used to cope with those feelings of isolation, boredom and missing social contact during lockdown.

This is why it is so important for us all to be mindful of how we might use alcohol and / or drugs and try to reduce any harms associated to our physical, mental and emotional health.

If you want to find out more about your drinking levels there are online assessment tools available such as Count 14 by NHS Scotland and the Mind Your Unit’s Quiz that can help.

You can also get immediate advice on how you can make changes to your alcohol and / or drug use and keep yourself safer during these difficult times at Alcohol & Drugs Action and by using the Check It Out resource by Crew.

It is important to remember that many of us will use alcohol and / or drugs at some point in our lifetime and, although it can sometimes be difficult, there is no shame in reaching out for help if you need it.

If you would like more information, advice or support on any aspect of alcohol or drug use you can contact us at CLiCK who can help and advise you on services available to you in your local area.

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