The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. Physical distancing has proven effective in Australia and restrictions that caused feelings of isolation and anxiety are slowly being lifted. However uncertainty about the future remains, and with it the need to look after our health and wellbeing.
We look forward to celebrating again with friends and loved ones – but the end of isolation could see a spike in alcohol sales as was seen in March, increasing the likelihood of risky alcohol use.
This is a concern because alcohol weakens the immune system, making us less able to fight off coronavirus and seasonal influenza. It increases short term problems through accident and injury, chronic diseases like cancer and obesity, and it worsens mental health conditions.
Alcohol is never completely safe. The more you drink, the greater the risk to your health. If you do drink alcohol, to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury have no more than four standard drinks on any one day – and no more than ten total in a week and aim to have at least one or two alcohol-free days every week. The less you choose to drink, the lower your risk of alcohol-related harm. For some people, not drinking at all is the safest option.