Using alcohol for stress relief is putting health at risk, warns Swanswell

06 July 2012

People who are regularly turning to alcohol to help them relax after a stressful day are only masking their problems and putting their health at risk, says Swanswell.

Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to a new survey from Drinkaware, which has found that almost two-thirds of people aged 30 to 45 drink alcohol to unwind.

About 60% of the 2,000 people questioned blamed work for their stress levels while half blamed financial pressures. More than a third of people cited family life among the reasons why they were stressed.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The results of today’s survey from Drinkaware aren’t surprising but highlight how easily problems with alcohol can develop.

Alcohol is often used to mask the reasons why people are stressed. It’s a depressant, so it’ll only make you feel worse in the long term if you continue to drink regularly or to excess. It’s not like vegetables, you don’t need your five-a-day.

It’s important to address the underlying causes of stress – look at your work-life balance, discuss any family issues or consider tackling financial worries for example. After all, regular or excessive drinking will only add to those stresses over time.

However, if you can’t get through a day without drinking a couple of glasses of wine with your dinner or a few pints of lager every night after work, or maybe more, it’s time to think about the impact it’s having on your health and wellbeing.

Ultimately there needs to be a big shift in society’s view about alcohol and how it’s often promoted as a way to enjoy yourself. It’s not something any government or organisation can do on its own, we all have a responsibility to tackle alcohol misuse.’

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