Updated Guidance: COVID-19: Advice for heavy drinkers who are thinking about cutting back or stopping drinking alcohol

Updated Guidance: COVID-19: Advice for heavy drinkers who are thinking about cutting back or stopping drinking alcohol

Is this advice for me?

This advice is intended to help you understand your drinking levels and avoid any serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms, should you plan to reduce or stop your drinking in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We want to help you cut back in a planned way in order to improve your health in the short and long term.

It is important that you know that both the risks of continuing a high level of drinking and of harms from cutting back are higher, the more heavily you drink. If there are alcohol support services available and you are planning to reduce your drinking, you should use these, particularly if you are drinking over 30 units per day, which is around a bottle of spirits, 3 bottles of wine, 7 cans of strong lager (7.5% or more) or 4 litres of white cider. Withdrawal symptoms and complications are more likely at this very high level of consumption.

The support available from NHS and other services to help with alcohol detox and reduction for people who wish to do this will be reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, though some services will be able to provide telephone and online advice. There is further information at the end of this guidance.

This advice is to help you, your families and friends self-manage alcohol reduction and/or withdrawal as safely as possible. If you are on your own with children, you will need extra support. If possible, you should speak to any professional who is supporting your family and get advice from your local addiction service before you start to cut down.

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Created Date: 16th Apr 2020
Last Updated: 8th Jun 2020