More than half of adults drink alcohol to cope with stress, finds study

The demands of daily life can take their toll

Sabrina Barr
Monday 15 January 2018 12:17 GMT

Almost 60 per cent of adults are drinking alcohol in order to cope with the stresses of everyday life, a study has discovered.

Recent research conducted by Drinkaware investigated the regular drinking patterns of people in the UK aged between 18 and 75.

Over 6,000 adults were assessed over the course of a few weeks between March and April last year.

The results of the study revealed a variety of reasons why people choose to drink alcohol.

38 per cent of the male and female participants said that they sometimes drink alcohol to forget their problems, with 47 per cent admitting that they often drink to cheer themselves up.

41 per cent also noted that they occasionally drink when they’re feeling depressed or nervous.

The survey gave the adults of a list of reasons to choose from, including options such as drinking to help you enjoy a party, to feel a buzz, to fit in with others and because it’s fun.

Approximately three in five people admitted that they drink alcohol to help them handle the pressures of their daily lives.

Elaine Hindal, chief executive of Drinkaware, has explained why more people may feel the urge to drink during this time of year.

“January can be a difficult time of year for so many people and families up and down the country when day to day concerns about finances and debt come sharply into focus,” she said.

“What this thought provoking survey shows is that a worrying number of people are drinking alcohol to help them cope with the pressures of day to day life.

“Whilst people might think having a drink after a hard day can help them relax, in the long run it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with.”

Joanna Rog, a twenty-two-year-old from London, spoke to the charity about her use of alcohol as a coping mechanism.

“Life can often be incredibly stressful for me as I do my best to juggle the demands of living, working and studying in a big city,” she said.

“There are some weeks when I drink every day just to keep myself going. I know it’s not great but there is a release in doing that which helps me to temporarily forget my problems and worries.

“Too many people are hitting the bottle when things get rough and we all need to start thinking why we do this and look for other ways of coping with our day to day pressures.”

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