Are you boozing too much? Take this test to find out if you've got an alcohol problem
MILLIONS of Brits have turned to booze during the coronavirus pandemic and experts have warned that the country is facing a "looming addiction crisis".
New figures show the number of problem drinkers surged to 8.4 million since February when the pandemic hit the UK and a new quiz can help you find out whether or not you're at risk of alcohol dependency.
Some 40 per cent of middle class Brits are now drinking too much, up from 28 per cent in February.
A new report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists analysed Public Health England (PHE) research on indirect effects of the deadly bug.
A questionnaire was used to assess alcohol consumption.
Anyone who scored eight points or more were deemed high-risk drinkers, one in five people, which equates to around 19 per cent, were in the high-risk category, up from 10.8 per cent in February.
The figure is the equivalent of 8.4 million people in England.
Doctors fear the rise in problem boozers could overwhelm addiction services and hit the NHS.
The questionnaire is available on the government website and is called the Alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT).
The quiz was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It consists of ten comprehensive questions and the UK government has modified it in order to best represent the lifestyles of people across the country.
It uses a scoring system of 0-4 which indicates how often you do one of the activities.
Questions include how often you drink alcohol, and towards the end people are also asked if anyone has ever been injured as a result of your drinking and if health care professionals have ever expressed an interest or concern in your drinking levels.
After answering all of the questions users have to tally up their scores.
Those who score between 0 and 7 are at a low risk of having alcohol-related issues.
A score of 8 to 15 indicates the person is at an increasing risk, while 16 to 18 indicates higher risk.
People who score 20 or more may be alcohol dependent.
If your score is eight or above, experts are advised to give their patients some brief advice as to what changes they can make to lower the amount of alcohol they consume.
If it is at 20 or above, the doctors should consider referring their patient for alcohol harm assessment.
Know your limits
When looking at alcohol consumption, one unit of alcohol is classed as half a pint of regular beer or cider, half a small glass of wine, one single measure of spirits, one small glass of sherry or one single measure of aperitifs.
Most measures that people drink in pubs and restaurants are more than one unit.
Drinks orders such as a pint of beer or cider, a can of lager or an alco pop are all over one unit.
The NHS advises that men and women should not drink any more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
It also states that you should "spread your drinking over 3 or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week."
Men should have no more than 3-4 units a day and for women it’s 2-3 units a day.
The NHS also has the "Drink Free Days" app, which helps you chose days you will abstain from booze and gives you tips and hints on how to stick to it.
Commenting on the results of the report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Sir Ian Gilmore, chairs of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: "The worrying findings from this report highlight the hidden alcohol harm crisis.
"Before the pandemic, only one in five harmful and dependent drinkers got the help they needed; that proportion will be
significantly lower now.
"With the increase in harmful drinking in the wake of social isolation, unemployment and financial hardship coinciding with reductions in treatment services, the call for an urgent government alcohol strategy
is not just empty rhetoric – it is essential."
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