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With the extension of COVID restrictions affecting many Australians, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is reminding people that there are supports available if they have concerns about their drinking or the drinking of someone they know.
FARE CEO, Caterina Giorgi, said that people might notice themselves drinking more frequently or drinking as a way to cope with anxiety or stress.
“Many of us are experiencing disrupted routines and increased levels of stress as we deal with the affect that the ongoing pandemic has on our everyday lives,” Ms Giorgi said.
“These feelings are unsettling and can increase the likelihood of turning to alcohol to cope. But alcohol increases anxiety and leads to sleep disturbance and having less energy.”
There are a few things to look out for if you are concerned about your alcohol use. These include:
- a family member or friend has expressed concern about your drinking
- feeling unable to complete everyday activities because of alcohol, and
- if your drinking has affected or harmed those around you.
When it comes to reducing alcohol intake, there are a few strategies that can help, like:
- set a limit and count your drinks
- have a few alcohol-free days every week, and
- establish new routines that don’t include alcohol.
Ms Giorgi encouraged anyone concerned about their drinking to reach out to support services.
“There are a range of online, phone and face-to-face support that people can reach out to if they are concerned about their alcohol use or that of someone in their lives,” Ms Giorgi said.
More support services are available at www.fare.org.au/support/need-more-support