DMU students admit lockdown has seen them drinking more alcohol

By Isobel Rix

Revelations made by DMU students on how their alcohol consumption has increased during lockdown aligns with new data collected by Alcohol Change UK.

The link between alcohol and mental health is being highlighted in this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week which launched on Monday(NOV16).

A survey conducted by charity Alcohol Change UK found that 63 per cent of those questioned aged 18-34 reported drinking for a reason related to their mental health, compared to 45 per cent of people aged 35-54 and 31 per cent of people aged over 55.

Four DMU students shared how they feel their drinking habits have been affected by lockdown and if they have felt an impact on their mental health.

Will Andrews, 21, an Architecture student, said: “When I’m bored I’ll drink.

“Normally, if I was going out with mates, I’d just drink to their pace but if I have a crate of beer on my own, instead of drinking one beer, I’d have five or six.

“It’s like a substitute to not being able to go out. It’s more of a regular occurrence to drink at home.

“It affects my mental health in the fact that when you drink you forget about everything, then when you’re sober again you are reminded of things and how much better it was when you were drunk, I guess that’s why people become alcoholics because drinking is an easy way out.”

With going out for drinks no longer a possibility, is drinking at home impacting mental health?

Freya Richeda, 20, a Fashion with Buying student, said: “On a weekday normally I’d never say ‘I’ll have a gin’ but with everything being online now, if you wanted to drink a bit more and you’re hung over, you just have to open your laptop in bed.

“When I drink I feel like I need to get ‘drunk drunk’, I don’t feel like I can just sip alcohol casually.

“I just don’t really enjoy alcohol to drink for pleasure, I’d rather have a Coke or water.

“Then the next morning I’ll feel on a downer and don’t want to do work which just makes me annoyed.”

Georgia Sampson, 21, a Psychology with Criminology student, said: “During the first lockdown I drank more than I normally do, but even then it was maybe two glasses a week at most.

“I was working long and stressful hours so having a glass of wine waiting for me at home helped me relax a bit.

“I don’t think that alcohol has an effect on my mental health, mind you I don’t drink a lot anyway, but if anything it makes me feel better if things are bad.”

Emma Savage, 21, a Dance student, said: “I drank more in the first lockdown because I was at my family home and I always drink more at home than at university.

“I don’t think drinking has affected my mental health in a negative way, more of a nice relaxation at night rather than drinking for the sake of drinking which I might have done if I was going out to clubs and socialising more.”

Further information about Alcohol Awareness Week and Alcohol Change UK can be found here.

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