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ITV News: Help Me Stop

The impact of the pandemic on problem drinking and how we can help

By Jack

A recent survey has found that an increasing number of people have admitted that they have a "complicated" relationship with alcohol.

Several charities have said that more people are coming to them because they are drinking too much, than before the pandemic began.

Charities are warning that so-called "functioning alcoholics" - people who can still hold down day-to-day jobs and family responsibilities but are dependent on drinking - are putting their bodies at risk, as they have a higher alcohol tolerance, meaning they could be doing unknown damage to their liver.

Ruth Bradford, from the charity Forward Leeds, said: "'We've seen an increase within more higher-risk drinkers as we would define it, and they come along with a lot more complexities.

"Within the nature of the alcohol use, and these alcohol users, we would say about one -fifth of the service users within our treatment service at the moment would fit in the criteria of higher risk drinkers who are working 20 plus hours more a week."

One of the strategies being employed to help people are "dayhab" units. They are not residential rehab units but heavy drinkers can visit for help.

Param Singh works at Help Me Stop, he said: "Part of the work we do is group work, which allows them to see, even though they feel like they may be very different from other people, that a lot of the core stuff they're going through, they're not alone with."

Retired police officer David has used the service - he was drinking 12 bottles of wine a week whilst working full time.

"The problem with alcoholism is you don't know when to stop. You don't want to stop," he said."

ITV News

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