Many mental health experts have warned about the long-term societal costs of the lockdown and new data seems to support the theory that people have embraced unhealthy habits in order to get through this strange time in our lives.
A study on the drinking habits of Irish people in the lockdown has found a worrying spike in 'coping drinking' from Irish men.
Drinkaware.ie surveyed over 1,000 people online over a 30-day period starting from April 24 to find that 66% of Irish men have been drinking regularly in order to get through the lockdown. This figure is up from 52% in 2018.
This compares with 55% of Irish women.
Men said they turned to drink to cope with the 'anxiety, loneliness and boredom' spawned by the lockdown.
The survey was launched to coincide with the beginning of Men's Health Week. Drinkaware chief executive Sheena Horgan said:
“The data tells the story of stark gender divide regarding alcohol consumption in Ireland.
“Irish men are clearly using alcohol as a way to cope with the anxiety, loneliness and boredom of Covid-19. Men already fared worse in terms of frequency and volume of drinking. Now they are exhibiting consistently hazardous and potentially harmful drinking habits.
“Men’s Health Week gives us the chance to put the focus on men’s wellbeing, and to support each other and renew our collective efforts to spark an open dialogue about men’s physical and mental wellbeing.”