Over 40,000 people have accessed a new online advice hub on alcohol and Covid-19 in the first week of this month.
Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse in Ireland, has urged people to be mindful of their drinking ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend.
It comes as the charity announced it has created a dedicated online hub “Alcohol & Covid-19” as a resource for members of the public looking to access essential information on the topic in one place.
It provides information, facts and practical advice to help support better decision-making around alcohol at this time. Among the information included are tools to help people be sober curious and more mindful about their habits, as well as alcohol’s impact on the immune system and sleep, along with links to additional resources.
Over 40,000 people in Ireland accessed the online hub in the first week of April alone. Traffic to the Drinkaware website also remains high.
Drinkaware CEO Sheena Horgan said the figures showed that there was a significant demand in the population for advice and supports during the crisis.
"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. Drinkaware, like all other organisations working in this space, does not want alcohol misuse and alcohol-related harm to be an unintended consequence of this pandemic," she said.
Ms Horgan also warned against people drinking too much at home during the lockdown period as a coping strategy.
“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."
"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," she said.