Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.14 23 Apr 2020


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An alcohol expert has warned there is greater chance of alcohol "misuse" at home, due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Professor Frank Murray is chairman of the Chair of Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland.

He says the upset the restrictions have caused also mean more stress and anxiety.

Figures show in the first week of this month, sales of alcohol in shops and off-licences was up 58% on the same period last year.

Irish consumers spent €38.1m on alcohol in the week ending April 5th - more than 6% higher than the week before and nearly 60% higher than the same week last year.

Sales of stout saw the biggest growth – up 187% on the same week last year – with whiskey, lager and cider also seeing huge increases.

Professor Murray told Pat Kenny there are a number of steps people can take to keep their consumption down.

"There are less controls around alcohol consumption at home than there are in a pub or a restaurant, so there's certainly a greater opportunity for harm I think.

"People maybe more likely to drink more, and particularity there may be a greater opportunity for parental misuse of alcohol and harm to children and so on - particularly as we're living in very stressful times.

"There's a lot of upheaval and stress and worrying; people are worried about their jobs... all of our routines are hugely disrupted.

"So I think it's worth reflecting on the pattern of our drinking at home at times like this and to reduce it".

"That would be the message I would have: people are buying far more alcohol to consume at home - I think that we should aim not to consume alchol at home to the extent that many people would seem to be doing now".

"I'd see a lot of patients in work who are drinking far too much and have an alcohol use disorder.

"And one of the things that I would often say to patients is the first thing to do to reduce or cut out your alcohol intake is to stop buying it.

"If you don't buy it, you can't drink it".

COVID-19: Expert warns chances of alcohol misuse are greater in the home

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Main image: File photo of spirits in a pub. Photo by: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

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Alcohol Alcohol Abuse Alcohol Consumption Alcohol Misuse Alcohol Sales Coronavirus Covid-19 Drinking At Home Pat Kenny Professor Frank Murray Restrictions

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