AHA member Balance launches campaign to tackle excess drinking in lockdown

11 November 2020

Alcohol Health Alliance UK member Balance has launched a new campaign to target excess drinking in lockdown and raise awareness about how cutting your alcohol intake can help you look after your health in the Pandemic.

The Alcohol – Not the Answer campaign is highlighting that alcohol can weaken our immune system against infectious diseases like Covid[i], contribute to low mood and anxiety, and cause cancer, stroke and heart disease.

The campaign is being run by Balance and funded by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System and by local authority public health teams across the North East.

People can visit ReducemyRisk.tv for tips and free tools to help cut down.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “The last eight months have been a worrying and stressful time, but using alcohol to cope is not the answer. We all need to be as fit and resilient as we can be right now for ourselves and our families.

“It may be shocking but the World Health Organization has warned that alcohol can harm the body’s immune system, meaning there may be an increased risk from the virus. This is about a right to know.”

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said: “The need to save lives from Covid-19 is essential and must remain the top priority. However, it is a huge concern that many people have reacted to Government lockdowns by drinking more. This apparent rise in drinking may have been triggered by bereavement, job insecurity, troubled relationships or other issues that have arisen as a consequence of the Pandemic. We are seeing people both struggling with existing alcohol dependence and on the brink of dependence.

“I welcome this campaign. It will provide an important wake-up call to drinkers and highlight how vital it will be to address this issue in the wake of the Pandemic.”