Be 'mindful' of your drinking this bank holiday, says charity
"Alcohol is an unhelpful coping strategy."
Irish people are being encouraged to be "mindful" of their drinking this bank holiday weekend.
Drinkaware have said that the long weekend and the increased uncertainty due to the Covid-19 outbreak is likely to increase alcohol consumption among Irish adults.
The charity is encouraging the public to be aware of their drinking habits and not to turn to alcohol to ease their anxieties.
Drinkaware CEO Sheena Horgan said that there is a concern that there will be a "sharp rise" in people drinking this weekend.
“With the long weekend and bright evenings ahead, it may be tempting to drink more than usual but it is crucial now more than ever that we are mindful of how much, and why, we are drinking," she said.
"At Drinkaware we are particularly concerned that there will be a sharp rise in people drinking more alcohol at home and more often in order to fill free time or to manage Covid-19 anxiety and stress.
"Alcohol is an unhelpful coping strategy that will worsen anxiety, not lessen it."
To aid those who may be turning to drink amidst the pandemic, Drinkaware have set up an alcohol and Covid-19 hub, a new online service offering support and information to those who may be worried about their alcohol consumption.
40,000 people have already visited the hub in the week since its launch. High numbers of people have also been visiting the Drinkaware site since the outbreak began.
"It’s clear that the demand is there from people looking for specific information and supports at this extraordinary time," said Horgan.
"The decisions and actions we take today around alcohol will not only help to mind our mental and physical wellbeing in the here and now, but also support wellbeing beyond this crisis."
You can check out Drinkaware's alcohol and Covid-19 hub here.