As a GP and consultant gastroenterologist practising in Sunderland, Dr James Crosbie, sees the harms of alcohol daily. He is the Clinical Lead for Alcohol for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System.
Dr Crosbie is backing Balance’s campaign and believes it is worrying that we have seen an increase in people drinking at high risk levels.
“People are understandably worried about money, jobs, and the impact on families from Covid, and in these sorts of times alcohol use can creep up. I think many people recognise that our relationship with alcohol has become more unhealthy and dangerous over the last eight months.
“With alcohol there are short and long term risks. Alcohol is a depressant, associated with low mood, depression and anxiety which can have an impact on wellbeing, family and work.
“Alcohol affects the immune system and makes us more susceptible to infections like coronavirus, and longer term it is linked to 7 types of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Alcohol is also full of calories and can cause weight gain, which increases our risk during the pandemic.
“If you have recognised you are drinking more, that is good first step and cutting down can improve your feelings of positivity, the risk of infections and other risks we all want to avoid. A good way to cut down is to have more alcohol-free days and limit drinking to no more than 14 units a week.”