A new survey for Alcohol Awareness Week (16-22 November), commissioned by charity Alcohol Change UK, suggests almost one in three drinkers (29%) have been drinking at increasing or high risk levels over the past six months (over 14 units per week). Over half of drinkers (53%) said they have drunk alcohol for a mental health reason – such as feeling anxious, stressed or worried, feeling bored, having trouble sleeping, or feeling sad or low – at least once in the past six months.
Anxiety, stress or worry were the most common reasons given for drinking, with four in ten (41%) drinkers reporting this as a reason for drinking at least once in the past six months.
But while struggles with mental health led many to drink alcohol, drinking actually worsened mental health for four in ten drinkers (44%). This group have all experienced a negative impact on their mental wellbeing as a result of drinking at least once in the past six months, such as:
- Feeling anxious, stressed or worried (30%)
- Trouble getting to sleep (29%)
- Waking during the night or not sleeping well (35%)
- Memory loss (22%)
- Feeling sad or low (29%)
- Feeling irritable or angry (28%)
This close, two-way link between alcohol and mental health is the reason that this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week – run by Alcohol Change UK – is focusing on alcohol and mental health. Over 4,000 community groups across the UK will be taking part in this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and mental health, to speak out about the stigma surrounding both issues, and to encourage anyone who is struggling to seek the support they deserve.
Find out more: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/