Smoking and drinking due to stress may harm mental health

Experts have cautioned against turning to alcohol to cope with the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown as it can have severe implications on mental and physical health.

The European arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that relying on alcohol was an “unhelpful coping strategy”. However, it acknowledged the difficulty many people faced while adjusting to prolonged isolation, and said it was normal to feel stressed, anxious and lonely in these kinds of situations.

Health officials said alcohol was unlikely to help alleviate stress during the pandemic and global state of emergency.

For people without addictions, using substances will not help to manage the stress of self-isolation.
Aiysha Malik

The health experts recommended that people “minimise the unhelpful coping strategies of using tobacco or alcohol”.

The recommendation comes after off-licences were added to government’s list of UK retailers that were allowed to stay open during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Aiysha Malik, technical officer for the WHO’s department of mental health, said: “For people without addictions, using substances will not help to manage the stress of self-isolation. They can make things worse.”

She said that the WHO wanted to ensure people looked after their mental wellbeing by eating healthily, exercising and sleeping properly. – Mailonline


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