Compared to the data obtained at the beginning of April 2020, it can be concluded that now alcohol consumption has generally increased, as in the spring of last year or at the beginning of Covid-19 11% of respondents used alcohol more often (4% – significantly more often, 7% – slightly more often), 46% There was no change in consumption, 9% consumed less alcohol than usual at this time, while 33% of respondents indicated that they did not drink alcohol at all.
As the long Midsummer holidays approach, narcologist Ilze Maksima talks about the risks of excessive alcohol consumption.
Risks were, are and will be
The long-awaited Midsummer holidays are approaching, which, thanks to the more favorable epidemiological situation, many will be able to spend with family and friends. At the same time, the opportunity to meet people close to you can be overshadowed by an excessive passion for alcohol. Although the warm and sunny weather, as well as the easing of epidemiological restrictions, improves the general mood of the society and allows to focus on hobbies, sports and socialization that have been banned so far, the narcologist Ilze Maksima points out that the risks of alcohol use remain. Surrender to the “charm” of alcohol use is related to several factors – heredity, availability of alcohol, but the most important thing is to assess your individual risks. The specialist invites everyone to be aware of their last year’s drinking habits and answer some questions.
- How often did I drink a bottle of wine and more or 0.2l and more of vodka, cognac, whiskey in one day or evening? If once a week and more often, it is very risky.
- How often in the last year did you have to drink alcohol on the second day after drinking more to improve your well-being? If this happens, I would recommend that you see a specialist to assess your health.
- How often in the last year have I not done something I had planned due to alcohol use? Once a month, my drinking habits have affected my social life and health.
- Have any relatives or doctors expressed concern about my drinking habits? If so, then there is a reason for it to seem unpleasant, angry and shameful.
These are just some of the questions to look out for and to find out what to do when life returns to the “old tracks”. If the time of pandemic restrictions is spent with excessive alcohol consumption habits and risks, then it is worth considering whether perhaps the positive emotions could be experienced this time, so that the biopsychosocial components of health can return to normal.
Men use alcohol more often
BENU Pharmacy Stress thermometer data show that since the beginning of the pandemic, alcohol is generally more common among men. Among women, 15% of respondents use alcohol more often (5% – significantly more often, 10% – slightly more often), 39% did not notice any changes, 28% do not drink alcohol at all, 17% use less alcohol than before the pandemic, but 1% could not give a specific answer , while among the surveyed men 23% more often drink alcohol (9% – significantly more often, 14% – slightly more often), 38% did not notice any changes, 20% do not drink alcohol at all, 15% drink less than before the pandemic, but 3% gave a specific answer could not provide. I. Maksima explains that men are more at risk of making unfavorable choices in solving their emotional problems, therefore, due to the pandemic and various socio-economic factors, men consume more alcohol. At the same time, women are feeling the effects of alcohol faster and more, and their addiction is developing faster. Also during the pandemic, young people were at high risk of turning to alcohol, as their usual activities and opportunities for socialization were very limited.
Is it possible to “prepare” yourself for a drink?
Narcologist I. Maksima emphasizes that the very beginning of time is not to prepare for drinking, but to identify one’s risks and, as far as possible, not to drink alcohol at all. Non-alcoholic lemonades and unsweetened drinks are currently available, which will allow you to celebrate the holiday without the headaches and risks of alcohol consumption. Safe and harmless doses of alcohol are not available at all. However, if a decision is made to drink alcohol, it is important to define in good time what dose you would like to afford.
If a person does not have an alcohol control disorder, then this maximum dose can be defined, but if the control is lost, it can never be regained, so you should not drink at all.
From a health risk perspective, it is recommended that this dose should not exceed 0.2 liters of strong alcohol or 1.7 liters of beer or 0.6 liters of wine. At the same time, it is important to think about how to influence the rate of alcohol absorption, so it is important to eat wholesome foods and drink water. To gain more control, you can talk to a family member or friend who helps you “monitor” the amount of alcohol you drink, as well as phone applications that record the amount you drink and later display a summary of statistics.
What if you drink too much?
To avoid feeling unwell the next morning, the most important recommendation is not to drink alcohol or to consume it in reasonable doses. However, if you have consumed more alcohol than planned the night before, it is advisable to sleep well, be at rest, drink non-alcoholic fluids (preferably water) and eat a balanced diet. Also, the next day after alcohol consumption would not be recommended very physical activities, it would be better to engage in calmer activities – read a book, watch a movie, play board games together or go for a peaceful walk. I. Maxim calls for special caution in connection with the use of medicines, as this is not always necessary, and it is advisable to consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking medicines. It is important not to drink alcohol on the second day, as it is a sign of mental and physical dependence, in which case you should seek the help of a narcologist. Let’s celebrate the holiday responsibly!
The survey was conducted in cooperation with the Internet research company GEMIUS, surveying 1,747 respondents.
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