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The charity Alcohol Change UK is concerned that people could develop long-term heavy drinking habits as a result of self-isolating at home. Research performed by the charity shows that over a quarter of adults in Wales who drink have increased their consumption since the coronavirus restrictions were brought in.

Over the UK as a whole, sales of alcohol jumped 31% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics. In Scotland, figures suggest that more than one million adults are drinking more than they were before lockdown measures were introduced. The charity is urging people to think about how much alcohol they are drinking during the lockdown.

Some drinkers are consuming alcohol more frequently out of boredom during the restrictions. Individuals who have been furloughed through the UK government’s job retention scheme, for example, don’t need to get up early for work, or worry about hangovers. Consequently, regular drinking is becoming the norm.

To combat this boredom, the advice is to develop a routine. Exercise and online workouts can also help. Language lessons are being offered online for free. As well as yoga, mobility fitness and cooking.

Andrew Misell, Director for Wales at Alcohol Change UK, said there were concerns that more people may get into habits of heavy drinking which could last for the long term. The charity said that the number of people visiting their website for help was up nearly 400% in the past month, compared to the same period last year.

“Even those of us who perhaps aren’t in such immediate danger are feeling the strain. I think an awful lot of us realised how much we really liked getting out of the house”, he said.

If people are drinking at home, it’s a good idea to try and keep track of how much you’re drinking, stay within the low-risk limits of 14 units a week, and try to make sure you have alcohol-free days. As well as dampening the immune system, alcohol consumption can also contribute to poor sleep and increased blood sugar levels. It can also increase levels of inflammation and compromise gut health. Good quality sleep has been recommended as warding off the risk of getting coronavirus.

AlphaBiolabs can provide a number of alcohol testing solutions including continuous alcohol monitoring. We also have a Walk in Centre located at Grange Medical Practice in Grangetown, Cardiff. For information on this and our other alcohol testing services, please contact us on 0333 600 1300 or email info@alphabiolabs.com